Negative Comments on YouTube – What to Do About Them

If you’ve gotten any kind of attention to your YouTube videos, odds are you’ve received at least one negative comment from someone. Negative comments on YouTube come with the territory, regardless of how good or bad the content you’re putting out is.

While you can’t do anything about receiving negative comments, you can choose what you do about them. You have a few options, as well, so let’s talk about the best way to respond to negative comments on YouTube.

Don’t Take Negative Comments on YouTube Personally

First, before we get to the practical portion of your response to negative comments, here is just a friendly reminder to not take it personally.

Negative Comments on YouTube

I get it – it’s easy for me to tell you. But when someone is critical of something you maybe put a lot of work into and care deeply about it’s hard to not take it personally.

And I’ll admit, when I see a negative comment on a YouTube video I’ve made, it stings at first, even today and on a channel I’ve been making videos for for over a decade now.

Regardless of how much effort you’ve put into your video, and how good you think your content is, negative comments always feel like a personal attack.

The newer and less established or successful your channel is, the more painful it can feel. This is only natural because, alternatively when you have a successful channel, you know that the proof is in the pudding, or in this case your channel’s success.

When you’re just starting out or maybe even trying something new on your channel and you get negative criticism, you will doubt yourself and those comments cut deeper.

Types of Negative Comments on YouTube

Before we talk about what to actually do about negative comments on YouTube, let’s remember that virtually all negative comments fall into one of three categories.

When you understand what each of them are, it can give you perspective to help you deal with them.

Full Trolling

These hurt for a second but are the easiest to roll off your back because there’s no merit to them; they’re just designed to get a rise out of you.

Comments like:

  • This video sucks.
  • I hate you.
  • … etc.

Are just examples of trolling, and lazy trolling at that. I’m not saying they’re not annoying, but it’s important to be able to easily spot these for what they are.

There are all kinds of motivations behind the comments trolls leave. Typically these people are either:

  • Immature and think it’s funny.
  • Angry because they’re not happy with their own life so they want to take it out on someone else.
  • Jealous of the content you’ve made or the results you’re getting.
  • Some combination of some or all of these.

Trolls tend to not put a lot of thought into their comments, and the more vague it is, the more obvious it’s a troll.

Things You Can’t Control

This middle group consists of the comments which arguably hurt the most, because they’re typically things which you cannot change.

For example, if someone leaves a comment to say “your voice is grating”, that is obviously something you can’t control.

The distinction between this and pure trolling is that there’s some actual substance to this comment.

You might even agree with some criticisms here which is also why they can hurt the most.

It’s easy to take one comment, particularly if you don’t get many comments, and believe that that speaks for everyone watching your video. An isolated, one-off comment like this should be taken with a grain of salt.

But again, if there’s nothing you can do about the issue they’re raising, there’s no point in dwelling on it.

Constructive Criticism

Even constructive criticism falls under the umbrella of negative comments because it’s still someone being critical of what you’ve created.

Note that this is different from the last category, because in this case there is something we can do about the criticisms people raise.

And just like the other two examples, your first instinct may be to get defensive or dismiss their comment.

If you’re going to be successful in anything in life, let alone on YouTube, you’ve got to learn to take criticism WHEN it is constructive, i.e. it doesn’t fall into those last two categories.

It’s the key to growth in any walk of life.

Here’s a simple example.

Years ago I had someone comment that I had too many ads on my videos. My initial emotional response was anger at someone telling me my business or how to manage my own channel, and I was going to ignore them.

Then I thought, well, let’s see how many ads the video they commented on was running. I figured it was just a difference of opinions on how many ads was too many for a half hour video.

It turned out that I had told YouTube to automatically place the ads on that video as I normally did, but that YouTube took it upon itself to put about 20 ads on that one 30 minute video.

I subsequently learned that the “automatically place ads” feature of YouTube is garbage, and even to this day it will jam pack your video with wall to wall ads if you don’t do it manually.

I admitted the error to that commenter (who thanked me for actually listening and doing something about it) and went back and cleaned up all of my past videos.

I hate to think how many viewers and subscribers I lost out of ignorance and laziness.

Since I did that, I saw my subscription rate begin to increase over what it had been on past and present videos.

If I had followed my emotions in that moment, that channel wouldn’t be the size that it is today.

Options for Dealing With Negative Comments on YouTube

Okay, we’ve talked about the three major categories that virtually all negative comments fall into.

Now let’s go over your options. As a content creator, you have full control over the comments people leave.

Can You Delete Comments on YouTube

Yes, you can delete comments on YouTube, at least comments left on your videos.

Depending on what page you click the three dots next to the comment itself (the comments section of your channel, the video itself, etc.) you’ll get at least the first three options:

how to remove youtube comments


The “Remove” option with the trashcan icon is the easiest way to delete comments on YouTube. This is the best way to deal with the “full on trolling” comments. If someone says something generically rude but otherwise innocuous, this is the best option.


If someone says something offensive or spammy, then you might want to bring it to YouTube’s attention by clicking the “Report” option. This will bring up a menu where you can specify the nature of the offense:

youtube report comment

The categories here are all self-explanatory. If you feel the comment falls into any of these, mark them accordingly and submit it. If YouTube agrees, they might ban that user.

Note that this also causes the comment to instantly disappear from your video as soon as you report it, regardless if YouTube agrees with your report.

I tend to mostly use this to mark spam as occasionally I’ll get a comment which is just there for spam promotion.

Hide User From Channel

The “Hide User From Channel” YouTube feature allows you to effectively shadow ban someone on your channel.

This means that the comment (or subsequent comments) from that user will disappear for everyone EXCEPT that user.

In other words, it’s a sneaky way to remove something you don’t like without them knowing.

This is the best option for removing comments which fall under the “things you can’t control” category. The person believe their fair criticism still stands and for your purposes, no one else has to see it.

How to Reply to Negative Comments on YouTube

Besides removing, reporting, or just hiding negative comments, it’s important to mention that you have another couple of options: reply or ignore it.

It’s not a good look to just begin deleting every comment you disagree with on your channel.

At best, you’re removing comments from your video which isn’t wise considering YouTube loves engagement which includes having as many comments on your video as possible.

At worst you might make an enemy or (several) in people who will make it their job to down vote every new video you make.

Now if there’s no substance to the comment, then by all means remove it with any of the above options.

If it falls more into the realm of constructive criticism, then I suggest replying to it.

Give the criticism some thought, and if you still don’t agree with what they’re saying, then leave a civil response (even if their comment didn’t seem it) and note that you understand where they’re coming from, but explain why you do things your way.

I got the entire idea for this article today based on a negative comment I got.

I have a series on another channel where I use a gimmick or two to create videos on a well covered subject matter. The like to dislike ratio is above 90%, so I know between that and the positive comments I get that most people really like the series.

I got a comment on a recent video from someone saying they didn’t like one of the gimmicks I used. I kindly replied with a joke and added that I appreciated their opinion on it, but that I was just trying to do something different.

Shortly after, they responded saying they appreciated my honesty and that they had subscribed.

You’d be surprised how well taking the high road and leaving a well written response works to someone who has been critical of your video, even if they weren’t nice about it in the first place. If they were trying to combat you in the first place with their comment, that sort of response from you is very disarming.

Remember also that a well thought out response is not just for that person’s benefit.

Anyone else who reads how well you handled a bad comment rather than getting prickly over it will appreciate you more as a content creator.

And best of all, responding to every comment, even the bad ones, is an easy way to get the comment count on your videos up which again helps your videos rank better.

Also note that bad comments will often get down votes from other people, or at the very least no up votes. This will generally keep these videos at the bottom of the comments section so very few people will see it in general, anyway.

In Conclusion

The next time you get a negative comment on your YouTube video, decide if there’s any merit to the comment.

If not, either remove it or report it (or, in some cases, just hide the user from your channel).

If there is merit to the comment, keep a cool head and remember that you’re better off taking the time to respond to it diplomatically. This gets your comment count up and sets a good example for your channel to the commenter and anyone else who visits the comment section.

Check out my complete guide to SEO for YouTube to ensure that your videos rank well so you can get lots of comments!

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