YouTube Is Letting Some Creators Set Custom Rules For Their Channel’s Comment Sections

By 07/02/2021
YouTube Is Letting Some Creators Set Custom Rules For Their Channel’s Comment Sections

YouTube is letting some creators set custom comment section guidelines for their channels.

As part of a test (meaning the feature may or may not be implemented more widely in the future), YouTube is giving a small number of creators “the ability to define up to three Channel Guidelines for comments,” Conor, a member of YouTube’s monetization team, said in a July 1 Creator Insider upload.

“These are a specific set of rules that everyone must read and accept before they post a comment to the channel that help outline the kind of conversations [creators] want to see,” he added.

Creators with access to the test will see the feature in the “Community” tab of their settings in YouTube Studio.

Conor did not give specifics about what kinds of rules creators will be allowed to set, or how those rules will be enforced. Tubefilter has reached out to YouTube to ask if there are limitations on guidelines (for example, guidelines like “No transphobic comments” are objectively useful, while guidelines like “Every commenter must link to my merch shop” are…less so).

We have also asked for information about how Channel Guidelines will be enforced. It seems unlikely that YouTube will be able to roll out algorithms that will automatically moderate individual channels’ comment sections based on their unique guidelines, so chances are creators will be responsible for combing their comment sections and deleting rule-breaking remarks themselves.

We’ll update this story with any new information.

On top of announcing the Channel Guidelines test, Creator Insider revealed that YouTube is also experimenting with a feature that will more precisely tell creators if and where Community Guidelines violations have occurred in their content.

“In our efforts to make sure creators have the best chance to understand Community Guidelines, when to appeal, and how to avoid future violations, what we’re doing is testing policy emails, where we’ll link to a specific timestamp in the video where we believe a violation has occurred,” Conor explained.

Emails will also contain information about which Community Guideline the creator is believed to have violated.

This test is being conducted with a small number of creators and with a small subset of YouTube’s Community Guidelines. YouTube hopes to expand the feature to more policies after hearing from creators involved in the experiment.

One thing to note: The policy emails are only being used to tell creators about Community Guideline violations, not about violations of advertising policies that could lead to their videos running limited or no ads.

“I know timestamps has been a consistent ask from the community as it relates to the advertiser-friendly guidelines, but we want to be very clear that this relates solely to Community Guidelines for now,” Conor said.