YouTube is more than a repository of Minecraft videos. It’s also a flourishing social media network. There are no clear statistics about how many comments people leave on YouTube, but it’s a lot. Around 100 million people engage with YouTube videos every week through likes, shares, and comments. Normally, this is a good thing for content creators and consumers, but there is a dark side to YouTube comments in the form of comment spam.

Despite YouTube’s best efforts, it’s still a problem. As of the fourth quarter of 2022, nearly two billion comments were removed from the platform for terms-of-service violations. So how can you protect your account and your shiny new Chromebook from becoming inundated with a deluge of spam?

The default setting for comments on YouTube is to enable them across the board. There are only two instances where comments are turned off by default.

  • Videos or channels that mark themselves as “made for kids” have comments turned off, and you don’t have the option to enable them.
  • Videos that are flagged as private have comments turned off. There’s no way around this restriction. However, if you need comments on your video and don’t want randos watching it, make it unlisted, which means it doesn’t appear in feeds or via YouTube’s search engine.

Additionally, users under the age of 13 with a supervised YouTube account can’t see or engage with video comments. If you don’t fall under any of these edge cases and want to change your default settings, here’s how to get it done.

  1. Log in to your account and click your profile picture in the upper-right corner of the YouTube homepage.

  2. From the drop-down menu, select YouTube Studio.

  3. Click Settings in the lower-left corner.

  4. From the Settings menu, click Community on the left side.
  5. Select the Defaults tab.

From here, you have control over the default comment settings on your videos. There are a few settings:

  • Allow all comments lets anyone post anything to the comment section of your video.
  • Hold potentially inappropriate comments for review uses an automated algorithm to guess which comments may be spam or have inappropriate content, then holds it for you to review later.
  • Hold all comments for review requires all comments to be vetted before going live.
  • Disable comments prevents anyone from posting comments to your videos.

Any changes you make from here take effect for new videos you publish and aren’t retroactive. These options are only available in the browser version of YouTube Studio, not the Android or iPhone app.

Sometimes you don’t want to take the nuclear option of blocking all comments on your videos. If you turn off YouTube comments across the board, you risk alienating a significant portion of your audience and taking away their opportunity to engage with your content. Often, it’s better to enable comments across the board but not allow comments for specific videos.

  1. In YouTube Studio, click Content from the menu on the left.

  2. Click the thumbnail or title of the video for which you’d like to change the comment settings.

  3. On the Video details page, scroll to the bottom and click Show more.

  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page until you reach the Comments and ratings section.

From here, you’ll have the same options as previously, but their scope is restricted to the current video.

  1. From the YouTube homescreen, tap Library in the lower-right corner.
  2. Select Your videos.
  3. Tap the ⋮ icon next to the video thumbnail for which you’d like to change the comment settings.
  4. Select Edit (next to the pencil icon).
  5. Scroll to the bottom and tap in the Comments section.

Again, you’ll have the same four options as you do on a desktop, and they behave the same way.

  1. From the main Dashboard, select Content from the bottom ribbon menu.
  2. Tap the ⋮ icon next to the video thumbnail for which you’d like to change the comment settings.
  3. Select Edit video.
  4. Tap in the More options section toward the bottom of the screen.
  5. Touch anywhere in the Comments section.

Take control of YouTube

This information can help you can regain control of your YouTube channel. The decision of whether to enable comment visibility can be a tricky one. Nobody wants their channel filled with vitriol, nor do they want to be flooded with comment notifications if they’re spam bombed. On the other hand, your subscribers deserve to be able to engage with you when they like your content, and fan interaction is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a creator. But, if turning off your comments isn’t enough, you could burn it all to the ground and delete your YouTube channel.

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