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Most comments that people post on my videos disappear [video] (youtube.com)
104 points by solarized 42 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 70 comments

I think this happens all the time.

I very rarely post comments on youtube, but when I do, I often want to go back to see if I've gotten any replies. Anyone else who's tried doing this has figured out that youtube makes it incredibly difficult for you to find your comment history. It's clearly not something they intend for you to actually use. They don't give you notifications about replies, or even the option to be notified.

Anyway, I think a lot of my comments have either been silently deleted or that maybe they work as if I'm shadowbanned. I've seen this in action trying to post comments on a news video.

I think I actually figured it out (a bit)

It must have something to do with long comments. Whenever I make a long comment, most of the time it just gets deleted after I reload the page. I even checked out the comment history which also shows the comment at first, then you reload and it disappears.

Then after 10 retries, I say fuck it and I just write a small comment instead, go back after 20 seconds and it's still there.

It probably has something to do with long comments. Not sure, but that's where the clues are leading me.

YT Bell icon will show you replies to your comments, but only those where someone directly clicked "reply" on your comment. YT comments are 1 deep and if someone replies to a reply to your comment you wont get notified.

also https://www.youtube.com/feed/history click Comments on the lower right.

But this wont show deleted comments. I had comments disappear, and later video creator tell me he saw it (got notification) before it was automagically deleted by Google, those comments vanished from YT history.

Had this happen to me. At first I assumed its because I block most of Google/YT tracking (pagead, things like https://www.youtube.com/youtubei/v1/log_event?xxxx), but unblocking everything didnt fix the issue. It would sometimes not delete a comment if I manually reposted it a minute later.

I just gave up and stopped commenting on YT.

I recently tried to post a comment on YouTube in a video where someone used Blender for modelling some icospheres for woodworking and I realized that there is a bug that produces irregular geometry.

I don't know why but it was silently deleted. Maybe because I don't have my real name on YouTube, maybe because it mentioned filenames of the source or whatever or maybe I'm just not paying google enough for them to publish my comments.

Imagine how bad the silent, centralized censorship systems are going to get once we're not in peacetime.

We need to replace them now, before it is too late.

Stop using FAANG products and services. That's what will be most effective.

There's a youtube video where someone suggests deliberately brewing with moldy sloes. This is dangerous because of mycotoxins that drop from the mold into the brew and cannot be removed by boiling or any other technique available to the home brewer. (I won't link to the video to avoid giving it google karma, but it's by "brewbitz").

My comment that this was dangerous was deleted by the channel owner and apparently I was blocked. So the video suggesting people do a dangerous thing lives on.

If a video promotes something dangerous you shouldn't comment, you should report it with "harmful or dangerous acts" as a reason.

Google and all the rest give users the impression that the comments section, or in the case of social networks the feed, is a sort of digital market square of organic conversations happening unhindered between participants. It is not and never was. It is only recent events of the last few years that have made this abundantly clear.

Youtube has been using their platform to openly manipulate people's ideas since 2010 (it started as a tool to slow ISIS, but now you can get your comment deleted for mocking the CCP even in the US.) Use PeerTube, Odyssey, or Bitchute instead.

I mean this should really be titled "YouTube deletes comments that contain 'poof'"

Its not just this one word. In my case it was all comments, like I was shadowbanned.

This just looks like an eventual consistency thing, rather than something particularly malicious?

Nope, it's because of the word "poof"

I don't get it, what's the problem with the word "poof" ??

Is that a millennial dog-whistle for something unsavory?

It's a derogatory term for gay that dates back to the 70s

It's very British slang which is why many people are probably not understanding

Aahhhh, I was on my phone so I couldn’t see the close detail well, that’d probably explain it.

This could be for multiple reasons - a cache consistency issue, the user could be blocked by that channel, or the comment could contain a channel blocked word.


I'd guess that if the automatic comment approval system isn't immediate then YouTube shows the comment to the poster so they can validate it was submitted and they haven't made typos but other users don't see it - and when the comment is checked (~20s later) and found bad it gets deleted.

Nope. This was on the creator's page. I commented with the word "poof" as described and sure enough about 25 seconds later the comment was removed.

So YouTube's automatic blocked word system probably removed it as I said.

You said "channel block list". This word isn't on any such list. This was decided upon by YouTube and YouTube only, and is very clearly a deliberate one.

The video maker notes that it is one of their own videos that they are commenting on, and the comment is not being held for review.

The comment is still being processed by YouTubes comment checking system, the poster is probably the only person that can see the comment until it has been checked. As others have said its probably being removed for including the word "Poof"

It appears he was replying to someone else who had the same issue and was attempting to explain why that user’s comments were being deleted. I doubt those comments also contained the word “poof.” Also, the video in question contains numerous comments with the word “poof” that remain visible.

Poof and it's gone...

A perfectly normal word...

It had multiple meanings, one of which is quite offensive.

Wait, what? Why is poof offensive?

It’s a reference to homosexuality. Any sexual references that are not utterly formal or medical are considered offensive by someone.

Even “gay” which is popularized and usable in casual conversation is still considered offensive by some people because of its historical aspect.

I'd wager 10% of the words in the english language are used as euphemisms or slang for something related to sexuality by some group.

For example read up on urban dictionary for some random word -- say omelette:

"Slang word for a sexual orgy." https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=omelette

So that can't be a yardstick -- there has to be some more objective criteria where a word is recognized as truly offensive by a large majority of the population.

I’m not sure that objective criteria will work here. Slang terms about sexuality often encode the bias of the majority and are targeted at humiliating a minority group.

Rather than trying for a universal measure, I think it’s best to leave it up to individuals, letting us all use whatever empathy and context we personally have.

Also I'm pretty sure that trying to post the same reply to the same user from a same account multiple times in a row will trigger some sort of spam detection.

Recently in the Netherlands there was a small case against YouTube because they were removing Covid related content.

I don't want to argue about the specific content, but Google made it very clear they just remove content they don't like.

So they admit they censor content. And because it is their platform you can't do anything about it.

Not in defense of google, but public boards and places for comments illustrate that most posters are idiots who at best post irrelevant text or at worst… well many worse types of content.

What is particularly frustrating is that tons of garbage posts live on whole a few legitimate or at least not offensive posts get removed.

Assuming it is the word 'poof', a term, at least in my circles, which hasn't been in current use for at least thirty years I'm intrigued to know how YT deals with obscure slang in, a language with many fewer speakers.

Are mildly derogatory terms in Burmese (1/10th the speakers of English) treated in this way ? I'd be curious to know how an Anglo-centric enterprise such as YT can establish what semi-archaic derogatory terms there are in Burmese. I suspect the comment would be safe from deletion just as long as English speakers can't read it.

Even if it's archaic it's still offensive and people will use it to abuse. The problem is that YT isn't able to determine context, which is surely a much harder problem than word match. I imagine.

YT does any number of things in multiple languages. Offensive words in Burmese or any other language can easily be implemented with just a word list, which shouldn't be that hard to derive, for example you could scan a dictionary that uses the 'offensive' tag on words like English dictionaries do.

I've definitely seen this before many times.

I've noticed this too. Certain words or phrases will cause Youtube to silently delete your comment without notifying you.

Last time YouTube did this to me was when I mentioned "bosozoku cars".

For anyone interested, it’s SFW.

Maybe he could try to post another comment instead of the same one to pinpoint what's triggering this. There is a separate % sign, maybe a few words together causing filters to act.

His method is not proving anything because he keeps trying the same thing.

In the comments he describes the issue in more detail. In this case the word "poof" is being flagged for comment deletion and other people were encouraged to try posting it and their comments were also deleted.

I wanted to copy-paste the comment here but for some reason YouTube makes that difficult on my phone.

2021: people start experiencing difficulties with copy and pasting plain text

oh... that started much longer ago. Back in the earlier GUI days you could rely on copy/paste to work, now that everything is a web app, it's total pot luck if you can even copy/paste inside the same app, let alone across different apps.

If I remember correctly people demonstrated similar things in 2018 or 2019 where you could see your comment but if you lived or it was gone, kind of demonstrating that only you could see it.

similar phenomenon for different reasons on Reddit: anytime I felt compelled to write up a comment, within minutes I would receive a notification that my comment was removed since I wasn’t a regular member of the community. How to become a regular when I’m not allowed to comment is a mystery to me, without even getting into how every subreddit has a different auto-moderator working off some opaque spam/profanity filter.

how much content is produced but never published online, silenced by robots?

I have also noticed this when posting comments containing certain words (that seems to be what is happening here) or when posting links. It can be frustrating if you want to back up your comment with a source.

I guess it's understandable given YouTube's scale. Easier to just remove all comments with links than to do more advanced spam detection.

Doesn't seem particularly surprising, since poof is (was? I haven't heard it in decades) a derogatory term for a gay man.

Half a year ago, I found a Facebook bug where if you post a comment that contains both a URL in the text and a picture as an attachment, it gets removed in a few seconds. About 24 hours later, you get a notification that the comment violates community standards for spam. I tried reporting the issue but it's hard to get an answer or progress.

I agree with what a couple of YouTube comments said:

> censorship like this, that simply tricks you into thinking you're alone or being ignored, is a form of psychological torment.

> This is extremely frustrating, I've experienced this countless times. Most of the time I don't even know what causes censoring. It's insane

> They censor the whole platform like that, comments just go straight into the black hole and you never know what words triggered it.

Imgur does this, too. Actually pretty smart from the platform's PoV. Just delete or "shadow" comments (or whatever you call it, when you can see your comments but no one else can) that contain certain words.

No need for moderation, people still use your garbage, while not being able to influence anyone else or affect your advertising.

it’s very sad. on a somewhat related topic, i think some media tech firms are violating this law


but indirectly

when an algorithm censors one form of content over another, then it is indirectly supporting the alternative. which is tuned based on biases, those biases pad the pockets of like minded people within their social sphere, their circle of influence.

but the perception is there that this is what everyone wants, so a percentage of people (competition in many cases) gets censored.

if this was like a small corner bar and someone was advertising their business inside someone else’s bar, then yeah i get it, your house, your rules, but censoring someone on a platform that is larger than many nations put together seems dangerous.

But they're not being paid to do so, like this Law establishes. Unless they're doing it to bbenefit content that are more likely to generate ad revenue. But they already have the freedom to do so with their algos...

Hacker news also does shadow banning.

Only in some very limited circumstances apparently.

We don't shadowban established accounts—we tell people we're banning them and why


The exceptions are spammers and serial trolls.

Some previous notes:


At least you can view them with showdead enabled…

Posted on YouTube...

You ever see the image of the peasant saying “We Should Improve Society Somewhat” to which a smug guy replies “Yet you participate in it”.

Using a platform to complain about said platform is due to lack of choices, not hypocrisy.

Well, in this case it didn't have to be a video (just like a whole lot of them), and there are other platforms.

But you're also right, if people don't complain and try to improve something, the chance of any change is much lower.

a number of the channels i follow have a regular set of porn bots that post links, and also there are also obvious (to a human) machine generated comments.

I assume (without any evidence) that YT has a programmatic / ML approach to attempt to minimise this sort of crap..

I note that in this case the problem seems to be a particular word, but i don't see this as malice on YTs part.

I no longer post links as references for answers etc even when the channel creator allows them, after having one YT account permabanned for spam based (as far as i can tell.,) on links posted...

(anecdata is notoriously lacking in peer review)

Those algorithms are used to control discussions and censor things as well. This is completely obvious if you pay attention to what is removed.

The excuse is always to fight bots and spam, but it's exactly like how the war on terror is actually about war on human freedom - building a prison we all live inside.

> but it's exactly like how the war on terror is actually about war on human freedom

No, it is not. Without these algorithms Youtube will be flooded with comments from bots.

> Those algorithms are used to control discussions and censor things as well. This is completely obvious if you pay attention to what is removed.

May be I'm not paying attention but this is not obvious to me. Care to share evidence for your claims?

It's not obvious to you because you don't post anything that is removed.

You never actually see censorship if you are not censored.

How do you know the above commenter not posting anything that's being censored? Do you know what they are posting?

If he/she "doesn't see it because he's not beingu censored", as you seem to imply that perhaps you are, his question would then be very relevant:

You could enlighten them with evidence so that they can also see what is obvious to you.

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