As one of the most popular places on the internet, YouTube attracts trolls and other people with cruel intentions as well as millions of well-meaning viewers. Likewise, the pressure to keep pushing the envelope in order to attract attention to your channel has caused a lot of creators to make poor choices that ended up permanently damaging their careers. However, you can avoid hurting your own career and help protect your audience through the choices you make regarding your content.
Here are three ways you can make YouTube safer for yourself and your audience.
1. Make yourself aware of the Community Guidelines.
The Community Guidelines should be the governing rules for your content decisions. If you break them or bend them, you risk channel strikes, suspension, or even termination. It’s important to follow these rules because the platform set them in place to protect all of it users.
Most of the guidelines are fairly straightforward. Basically, you want to avoid doing anything for shock value, such as dangerous pranks and graphic thumbnails. You can find a full list of the Community Guidelines here.
2. Know your audience demographics.
In order to build trust and community with your audience, you’ll need to make your content decisions based on what’s appropriate for them to see. The most important audience demographic in this case is age. This is especially important if your content is considered “made for kids.”
COPPA and similar laws require you to label whether or not your content is “made for kids.” If your audience is primarily children or your content is obviously targeted towards their demographic, then you’ll need to label your videos as such. You can find YouTube’s full set of COPPA compliance guidelines here.
3. Add offensive or inappropriate words to your blocked words list.
Finally, you can protect your comments section from hurtful content by adding words to your blocked words list. In your YouTube Studio, go to settings. Then, click on the community tab. From there, type any words you don’t want to appear in your comments into the box labeled “blocked words.” Be sure to separate each word with a comma. You can also protect your viewers from spam by checking the “block links” box.
To add an additional layer of protection, click on the “defaults” tab. Then, under “comments on your new videos,” select “hold potentially inappropriate comments for review” from the drop-down menu. You can do the same thing for the comments on your discussions tab and your live chat.
As a content creator, you should take some responsibility for protecting both your channel and your audience. Follow these tips to help make YouTube a safer place for everyone.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.