Everyone is guilty of getting a little too worked up about something they see or read online and in the heat of the moment, people often comment or make a response that they instantly regret. Fortunately, most sites allow you to delete your comments, which can save the guilty some embarrassment and hurt pride. However, just because a comment is deleted on your end does not necessarily mean it has been deleted from the entire Internet.
If a comment on a YouTube video was deleted before the creator of the video was able to see it, then the creator will not be able to see the deleted comment. However, the comment may still be accessible and able to be seen through an email if the creator has enabled comment email notifications.
In a world of screenshots and screen recording, commenting something that the world shouldn’t see is riskier than ever, and for the people who make a living off of creating YouTube videos and interacting with their subscribers, it can be difficult to quickly hide something that wasn’t meant to be said.
Notifications and Comments
It depends on how soon after a comment is deleted from a YouTube video on whether or not the publisher can see the comment. If it has been several hours, it is almost 100% assured that the comment has been seen. But, if it is deleted instantly, it is unlikely that the publisher had time to see it. However, that doesn’t mean the comment is gone forever just because you deleted it right away.
When a YouTuber posts a video, they can choose to receive notifications for all activity on the video. There are filters that can disable all comments, filter certain comments out, or allow all comments. The smarter the Internet gets, the easier it becomes for YouTube to flag a comment because of inappropriate language, whether that be swearing or sexual harassment. Comments may be deleted automatically if the site deems them inappropriate, so, if what was commented was too terrible, generally not many people will see it.
If the publisher of the video decides to get email notifications of every interaction that their video gets, that comment will be sent to their email, and even if the comment is deleted by the user from the video, their comment will still be recorded in that email. (Source)
Again, it depends on how the publisher has their comments settings set, making it a risky gamble if something is commented and then quickly deleted.
Recovering Deleted Comments
A big fear for many people is that posts or comments are saved by a site and can be dug up later and used as blackmail or some kind of incriminating evidence against them. This fear is valid, especially since many people have had dark secrets unburied from their past and been exposed on the Internet, bringing cancel culture into the already complicated equation.
If you dig deep enough, you will be able to find sites or links that are not known to the general public but that hold a lot of deleted or archived information. There is a link that can take you to archived videos and comments from YouTube as recently as 2019, although the site stopped automatically saving the comments after 2017. However, if you want your comment to live on in history, you can include the link when you comment on a video and it will be archived.
In order to recover archived or deleted videos, go to Wayback Machine, which is a constantly updating archive of everything on the Internet. If someone is absolutely bent on recovering an old deleted comment and they know where to look for it, it is likely that they would be able to find it. This not only includes comments but also videos and posts that were available publicly.
In some cases, a comment thread can get out of hand. We have all seen it happen and more likely than not, we have all been entertained by the vicious comments that are exchanged. In a situation like this, if the comment that everyone is replying to is deleted, you can often see the comment until the page is refreshed. After everything is refreshed, the comment will be seen as “COMMENT REMOVED BY AUTHOR” and the replies will still be visible. (Source)
Comments can also be reported by other users which can lead to profiles being banned or suspended along with comments deleted. In many heated cases, comments can and will be reported and will often lead to the comments being deleted by the YouTube admin after being reviewed. Sometimes the comments will be deleted without even being reviewed depending on what category they are reported under.
The categories that a comment can be reported under include:
- Unwanted commercial comment or spam
- Pornography or sexually explicit material
- Child abuse
- Hate speech or graphic violence
- Promotes terrorism
- Harassment or bullying
- Suicide or self injury
Since some of these categories are more serious than others, the comment will not always be taken down but possibly just flagged so that other users know to take the comment with a grain of salt. However, the majority of comments on YouTube are deleted by the YouTube algorithm itself, not from users reporting each other or from influencers deleting rude comments.
In order to be completely safe in commenting on YouTube, it is best to hold back negative feedback and angry words. It is only human for these words to slip out sometimes, but sometimes it is better to bite your tongue rather than have the whole world see something regrettable. Employers will often google the names of potential employees to see what pops up, and they will often look at their social media profiles as well. If there is a comment thread with thousands of likes and replies and they are all participating in an argument started by the person in question, it is likely that an employer will see this as a red flag.
We have seen social media and offhand comments destroy the reputation of a person who didn’t even mean it in an offensive way, or perhaps was attacked by someone who took offense at a joke. In order to avoid these situations, it is best to refrain from saying inflammatory things or something that can be taken as offensive or rude to someone else.