Foster a positive community
We want creators to have positive, productive conversations in their communities. Here are some tips to help you stay secure and protected on YouTube and beyond.
Setting the tone of your conversation
You’ve probably heard the phrase, ‘Treat others the way that you’d like to be treated.’ This rule applies to your YouTube community too. Let your audience know, in your videos and in the comments, what kinds of conversations you encourage (and what you consider inappropriate).
If someone has written something inappropriate in the comments, you can:
- Remove the comment (and all of its replies).
- Flag the comment to YouTube. If the comment violates YouTube Community Guidelines, it will be removed.
- Hide the user from your channel. This action blocks a specific user from posting comments on any of your videos, or contacting you through private messages. Users are not alerted when you block them. Learn more.
While good debates are part of a healthy community, sometimes people may use words or phrases that you don’t want associated with your channel. One easy way to mitigate this is by creating a Blocked words list. You can add these words or phrases to the Blocked words box in Community settings. When blocked words show up on your channel, they won’t appear publicly and will be held for your review.
You can also choose to hold potentially inappropriate comments, identified by our algorithms, for review. (This feature is available in 12 languages.) Learn More.
Trusted community members can be added as comment moderators to help take down inappropriate comments around the clock and lead to a more guided conversation. Comments they moderate are removed from sight and held for your final review.
Addressing hurtful or inappropriate comments
YouTube creators can be leaders in countering negativity online by promoting a positive tone in their community. Behind every username there is a real person with real feelings. If you feel inclined to quickly respond to an offensive comment, pause for a moment and think carefully about what you’re going to write. Try to counter negativity in its tracks by being positive and redirecting the mood. When you respond in a positive tone, it can turn the conversation around
While it's important to respect people's opinions, it’s also important to recognize if someone crosses the line. You can always flag comments that you believe violate YouTube’s Community Guidelines. Everyone is an important participant on YouTube, and it’s the work of creators and viewers to make it inclusive and respectful. Note: the comments section may be turned “off” on family-oriented content if comments are found to be sexually-inappropriate or predatory in nature.
Sharing information online
Information shared on the web can spread quickly and take on a life of its own. So, when replying to comments and posting videos, be sure to consider your own privacy. Here are some tips for managing your personal information:
- When uploading a video, select if it should appear public, unlisted, or private.
- Decide how much information to share, when, and with whom in your account privacy settings. Learn more.
- Be mindful of disclosing private or personal information in your productions, such as your driver’s license, phone number or addresses belonging to friends or family.
- Ask permission before sharing anything (even stuff you don’t think would be sensitive) about someone else.
Writing effective passwords
A big part of online safety involves simple, smart practices, like selecting good passwords for your channel. Now might be a great time to update your password if you haven’t in awhile. There are a few things to keep in mind when creating strong passwords for your YouTube account (and beyond):
- Make your password at least 8 characters long. Use a combination of letters, numbers, symbols, uppercase, and lowercase letters.
- Use different passwords for every important account you hold.
- Set up password recovery options and keep them up-to-date. This can let you get back into your account if you forget your password or get locked out.
- Avoid using personal information or a password that could easily be guessed, like your pet's name, or child’s date of birth.
- Try not to write passwords down, but if you do, keep them somewhere safe. Reputable password vaults can help you create and protect your passwords.
- Once you’ve created a strong password, ensure you have a backup email address saved.
- To add an extra layer of security, enable 2-Step Verification. This means whenever you sign in to your online accounts, you'll enter your password as usual. Then, a code will be sent to your phone via text, voice call, or mobile app that you’ll need to enter. Or, if you have a Security Key, you can insert it into your computer’s USB port. This means that if someone steals or guesses your password, they still can’t sign into your account because they don’t have your phone or your security key.
What you can do about impersonation on YouTube
While many creators may be familiar with fan channels that celebrate their content, some channels may cross the line into impersonation. If you find that someone is using your content to deceive fans into believing their channel is your official channel, you can report this activity. Learn more.