YouTube Comments: Why You Gotta Be So Mean?

Hello everyone! Question of the day: does anyone else watch YouTube Beauty Gurus, and if so, have you noticed a lot of nasty comments on their videos lately? I wanted to address the issue, but I have to be honest, I’m a little scared. The best way to attract internet trolls is to mention them. I think they’re like Beetlejuice–say their name 3 times and they appear. At any rate, the issue of online bullying is important, so come with me, if you will, to take a walk down memory lane.

Screen shot 2015-02-04 at 9.17.25 AM

The year is 2008. YouTube is somewhat new, and if you’re browsing it, you’re happy just to find a video with 360p quality, forget HD. One of the biggest makeup/beauty gurus at the time is a woman named Lauren Luke, producing videos under the name Panacea81. If you don’t remember her, that’s fine. She has largely faded from the spotlight in recent years and now only makes videos here and there. But at one point, she had TV interviews, guest columns, and even her own game. She was one of the first beauty gurus to launch her own makeup line. Lauren is not the typical beauty guru we see today–although she isn’t shockingly heavy, she speaks openly about the bullying she received because of her weight. In those days, her comments sections were dominated by people either fawning over her makeup looks or putting in suggestions for her next tutorial. Every now and then you see a mean comment, but other people generally respond in her defense. As an avid watcher in those days, I remember someone criticizing her for having her hair in a ponytail while doing her makeup, saying that it looked sloppy and destroyed the overall effect. Even though plenty of people weighed in to say that didn’t matter, after that, Lauren always styled her hair in her makeup videos. That always left a bad taste in my mouth.

Fast forward to 2015 and looking at the comments on these videos read like a competition of who can out-Regina George the others. Some videos get a lot of positive feedback, but sadly, click on many beauty videos and the first comments you see are either mean ones or ones responding to “all the negative comments.” Sure, there are some things that can be considered constructive criticism, but in what world can comments like “was like ‘she’s so pretty’ and once I saw you without makeup I was like O.o sorry” ever be construed as constructive? Even worse is that when users like Meg Kroh, aka ciaoobelllaxo, disable the comments or delete mean comments, they face additional criticism.

People seem to think bullying big name gurus isn’t a big deal. Maybe they think that the guru won’t read their comment or maybe they just don’t care. But even if the gurus never read the comments (which based on Lauren Luke, we know isn’t true for at least some of them) writing mean comments is still harmful. What about the little girl who wants to do makeup videos of her own someday, but is scared off by all the bullying? I’ll admit that I’m a grown woman, and I was a little hesitant to start a blog because I was afraid of all the negative backlash I just expected to be hurled at me. Luckily, I find that the beauty blogging community on WordPress is supportive of each other. I’m thankful that we’ve been able to be kind to each other and mostly avoid mean comments. Can we keep it that way? Thank you to everyone who takes time out of their day to leave nice comments. It makes the blogging community special.


111 thoughts on “YouTube Comments: Why You Gotta Be So Mean?

  1. This is a huge problem! When I first started watching YouTube the comments were filled with positive and sweet comments sprinkled with a bit of hate. Now, the comments are filled with hate sprinkled with a few nice ones here and there. I think its because the online job community is growing and people are able to make a living off of something as “simple” as videos- so naturally people don’t like it when others start making a living when they don’t work “as hard” as other people. I’m glad someone in the blogging community is addressing this because it’s gotten so ridiculous.
    Keep doing what you love and know that I support you girl!

    • Thanks so much Jacquie. I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed how much worse the comments have gotten over the year. If you ask me, it’s pretty silly to leave a hate comment on a video because you’re mad the guru is able to make a living off it. Not only is that petty, but by watching the video, you’re supporting the guru!

      • Exactly, and yet I see comments like “I work this hard for this much money and all you’re doing is making a video.” I never understand these comments because they could be doing something more productive to better their lives than leaving hate because they’re unhappy. And you’re right, watching a video is supporting them because YouTubers make money off of their views.

      • Me too, but I hate reading hate so I definitely don’t add to it- even though sometimes I want to.

  2. Watching beauty YouTube videos is my past time. I love love love it. And I agree some of the comments are absolutely disgusting. I don’t understand why some people waste their time spewing hate! But I guess that’s what happens with the Internet, when you put yourself out there – you are not going to please everyone. :/

  3. I was afraid to start a blog because of this too- it is amazing how mean people can be! Like you, I haven’t faced that yet, but I do worry. I hate bullying. There’s just no purpose at all.

    • It’s pretty sad to me. Not just that people are mean, but the number of likes some of these comments get. Like, how many people support this behavior

  4. While I definitely think that online bullying is terrible and like you I think the wordpress community is pretty friendly thus far, one thing though is… how narrowly do we define something as “negative” and “bullying”? I saw a good few times that supporters of major youtubers basically slamming and slamming someone who just made a simple non-offensive comment like “pretty but not my style” or “u look prettier with your hair down” and sometimes I think the so called defense has gone too far that a difference in opinion is now not allowed.

    • I’ve seen that too, and honestly I think while those kinds of responses are well-intentioned, they are bullying too. It certainly doesn’t help the climate in the comments when someone says, “You look pretty, but I like this look better on you” and people jump in to defend with “well you have no idea how to do makeup and you’re ugly so what do you know??” Like, really?

  5. Great post! Honestly, this is one of the main reasons I am weary to start a Vlog. I don’t understand how people get off on being a bully. Makes no sense to me. Anyone who posts a blog, or especially a vlog is very brave. They’re expressing how they feel to a bunch of strangers, and now know what the response will be. I also find it very disgusting when people have to mock another’s appearance. Most of the time it is to in turn make themselves feel better .Very cowardly.

    • Exactly! And I think people who do beauty tutorials and start off with no makeup on are brave. Saying someone is ugly without makeup or whatever, is just wrong.

  6. Agreed! It is so sad to see how much negativity there is in this world and with the internet and social media it is so easy to spread such hateful comments under an anonymous name. I have seen the change in emotions/excitement in there videos, they delete lots of videos and become so hesitant to do vlogs or anything that shows family/friends because people begin to attack them unnecessarily. It sucks for the real fans who are now missing out. The worst is when people say “well this is what you sign up for when your in the public eye” and I think that is completely unfair. This is there passion and jobs, so let them share it with the people who like it and if you don’t, exit the screen and find something you do like.

    • I totally agree with that. As for living your life in the public eye, there are a lot of non-celebrities that do that to a certain extent through social media. If you knew someone in real life, you would never tell bash how much makeup they’re wearing in a photo or criticize their diet based on the food pictures they post. So why do people feel entitled to give those same opinions to strangers?

  7. This is such a good post. I’ve definitely been put off doing YouTube videos from all the nasty comments I see. It’s so sad that there are people out there who just seem to enjoy putting others down. Thanks for the post though! Xx

  8. First off, I say “bravo!” to anyone who films an instructional video… they are really tough to do!
    Secondly, I think if I DID post one and was concerned about bullying, I might be as detailed in my text as I could and also have a contact email address. That would likely cut down on “impulse feedback” – it’s easy for trolls to just shoot off some stupid comment (and they ** LOVE ** having an audience!) than to go through the trouble of sending an email and an email certainly won’t give them the satisfaction of public pot stirring. While you will also miss out on the spontaneous “LOVE IT!” post, but you would still get the people who REALLY want more information about the look, or who like your post so much that it’s important to them to show that they care.

    That’s just my thoughts on it, though. I certainly don’t like or encourage bullying, but I do understand that the world is, and has always been, home to many, many naughty children. The web makes it easier for them to congregate. I’m happy to see that kind people congregate here also. 🙂

  9. Girl! I can’t stand when people are mean just to be mean. One of the things I noticed with YT is increased success = increased number of mean comments. Users don’t like the fact that these people are making a killing. But they don’t realize that the cost of what they get paid is their lives. I’m thankful for the YTers because they allow me to get lost in something – whether a haul, a vlog or a tutorial. My bff wanted to start a YT channel and I was definitely hesitant to start one because of this. I wouldn’t want to see how it’d effect her once it started. Great post V!

    • Thanks so much! I don’t think I could stand to read some of the stuff commenters post about people if it was about me. It would make me never read or respond to my comments

  10. There is so much negativity on YouTube it’s ridiculous. Some are probably just jealous of various YouTubers and just spew hate to try to get attention themselves and others are just mean, hateful people who aren’t “happy” unless they have something to butch about. This is one of many reasons why as a whole, I hate people.

  11. I was a bit nervous about starting my blog too but have found that yes the WordPress community is a great and supportive one. I can’t stand to see negative comments that put others down. They only do it because they feel insecure themselves.

    • I truly love our little community on WP. It’s such a relief. Even when people don’t 100% love your content, I’ve found most make suggestions in a respectful way

      • I think most are. I can only think of two suggestions I’ve had so far and they were from bloggers I’m close to, so definitely not meant to offend

      • Well I notice when I do take better pictures that I actually will get compliments on my pictures lol. I know they aren’t always the greatest and I have a lot that I want to improve on but our blog is like our baby and we are always striving to improve on whatever we can. 🙂

    • That’s so weird that you mentioned that. I had never heard of her or watched her before and then I just saw her or someone pretending to be her in a parody trailer for a movie

  12. Exactly! You hit the nail on the head with this girl!
    I cannot even begin to fathom how much hate comments these amazing beauty gurus get. Being straight up mean is never right and calling someone names is worse. I wish people could support those in the videos because they do put time and effort into it. It’s definitely scary to put your view of the world out there, I agree with the blog and how scary it might be. I almost never started my blog because of it. But Youtube is something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile and comments like those will always be in the back of my mind.
    This post is amazing, thank you for speaking out!

    • Thanks so much. If you do start a YT, just remember that there will be people who genuinely like your content, even if they aren’t as loud as the mean people!

  13. Like everyone else who has commented so far, I truly believe that people who are hateful like that do it because they feel insecure and jealous. Not only that, but it’s easy to attack someone who is bare-faced on camera if you’re hidden behind a screen and they can’t see what you look like with no makeup. One thing I noticed is that most, if not all of these rude commenters don’t even have videos up themselves!!! 😛 I do feel bad for the Youtube personalities who are being attacked, but at the same time, these are complete strangers. I think an insult would be much worse coming from someone you knew personally. I’m new to the WordPress community, but everyone I’ve encountered so far has been wonderful. ❤

    • Welcome! The WP community has been great 🙂 That’s so funny that most of them don’t have videos up. They can give it, but they can’t take it

  14. I don’t understand why people feel the need to say nasty things. Maybe I was just brought up right, and honestly believe ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’. But why people think they can say these horrible comments over the internet – which we all know would never be said if they were standing face to face – I’ll never understand! A compliment or nice comment goes a long way a people really appreciate it. The internet can be nasty place these days!
    Great post!

      • Exactly! These sorts of things never even come in to my mind. I just don’t understand why people think these things!

  15. I totally agree with u. I want to start vlogging but have decided to wait a year to build up on my confidence in my own blog and to have a good honest audience. I find mainly people to be simiply jealous of their success. There is no point to be mean, its silly and pointless. I actively leave comments on my fav vloggers channels, just so they know theyre loved. They are human too. The same for instagram. Haters cause self inflicted hate. They dont need to watch, they choose to watch, and then choose to be spiteful and mean. Self inflicted. Dont fear the bullies, make them fear you. Xxxx

  16. I just don’t understand why people bother. It’s cowards who are insecure and jealous and for some reason therefore think it is acceptable to hide behind their keyboards and put others down for a reaction. Unfortunately these people are always going to exist, annoyingly the fact that so many people jump to the Youtubers defence, raises more awareness for the comment and it spirals into massive arguments in the comments- understandably these people are just trying to be nice but actually it makes he whole situation worse as it highlights it to potentially millions of viewers and to the Youtuber. I think YouTube and other social media sites really need to crack down and have software to detect cyber bullies – surely there is a way to do this?

  17. I’m not sure what the deal is but i see it. I tend to avoid comments for that reason unless I’m catching a video right after it’s been uploaded. It seems like those first few comments are generally positive then it at some point it devolves into something nasty. I wonder if collectively we’ve become mean/meaner or if we’ve always been this mean it’s just that now with the internet being at our fingertips more people can get those mean thoughts out.

    • I don’t know. I think it’s because the internet provides some degree of anonymity too. If I leave you a mean comment you’ll never know who I am. If I’m not signed with my gmail account, you’ll probably never even know my real name

  18. Fantastic post. I don’t understand why people are so negative in the YouTube community. Maybe it is a need for attention, or maybe it is jealousy? I don’t think there is a good answer at all to be totally honest. If you don’t like a video, or a blog for that matter, I don’t understand why one would go out of their way to slam it. It is really unfortunate.

    • Thanks! What I don’t understand is the people who seem to keep watching video after video when they’ve already determined they don’t like the guru and have said as much. Quit wasting your time!

  19. Couldn’t agree more! When blogging or being a Guru, you are a target… It also made me think twice when I started. And I only recently came out of the closet with my blog after 3,5 years! All because of the negativity. Too bad we let our passion be overruled by it… But 2015 is a great year! One change at a time! 😀

  20. Really well said V! I’ve only recently started watching YouTube this past few months but some of the comments are just vile, there is absolutely no need for it at all. Thankfully like you say, the WP blogging community has been amazing – I find everyone incredibly supportive, postive and encouraging! Lets hope it stays that way for a very long time to come 🙂 Karen x

  21. So true! And it seems to just keep getting worse. :/ It’s horrible! Internet trolls are just seeking attention though so the best thing is to ignore them. Trying to defend the target will just create more drama, even though I myself feel the need to step in sometimes. Really wish that there would be more positivity on YouTube! But I’m glad I haven’t come across anything like that in the blogging community! ❤ Hope it stays that way!

  22. I really don’t get trolling at all. It makes no sense to me why people would want to waste their energy that way. If you can’t write something nice, don’t write anything at all. I only post positive comments. Spread positive energy! If you don’t particularly enjoy or click with a YouTuber (which is ok – it happens) then just move on.

  23. Well stated. I think many people are scared to start a blog or attempt making videos because of the negative and hateful comments out there-this definitely applies to me. I think the fact that because it’s online, it has a potential ‘anonymous’ factor that allows for these type of comments. It’s very sad and sadder that it’s becoming more prominent in real life too. 😦

  24. Agree!! Some people are so harsh on Youtube and pick the bloggers apart, despite the fact they willingly watched the videos! The time and energy going into making those is really hard work (a friend of mine does it) and they should be applauded for putting themselves out there.

  25. Ugh. Haters, instead of hating, should just stop reading/watching/supporting. Simple as that. To make the effort just to say something hateful is ridiculous and unproductive. 😦

  26. I agree, its like they feel its ok to rain on someone else’s parade. I feel absolutely terrible for these gurus but i also feel proud of them because they don’t let the hate get to them and when they talk about it, it makes me feel even more closer to them and I’ll know how to handle mean comments like that if it ever happens.

  27. I feel the same. Like I’ve always wanted to start a YouTube channel but i’ve been so worried about the sheer amount of bullying that goes on. Don’t think I can put my heart into something only to be knocked down for it. It’s a horrible thing. I think i’d stick to blogging for now, nothing but love and positivity from other bloggers. I love the community, I dunno maybe one day I’ll branch out. As much as Zoella no longer makes content for my age group, I still love what she’s doing and what she has accomplished. I just hope that as a blogging community,w e continue to support one another against those who look down and criticise us. Great read x

    • Thanks so much. And yes, the blogging community is surprisingly nice. I think it’s because so many of us that read blogs have one ourselves. We really understand the importance of treat others how you want to be treated.

  28. So glad you made this post! This is one of the things that truly saddens me about YouTube. I literally don’t understand why people feel the need to say such hateful things- what is the point of telling someone she looks ugly or fat or even that her hair or makeup isn’t attractive??? Saying someone’s foundation is a shade off is one thing (I’m all for constructive, objective, and TACTFUL criticism), but I’ve seen comments that go on and on about how it’s too cakey or not covering up her awful blemishes and I just think “Couldn’t you have kept that to yourself?” It only serves to make the person feel bad about herself and to encourage this kind of commenting from other viewers…

  29. This is why I’m afraid to do my own YouTube videos!! But my mom said something to me the other day that I can’t get out of my head: “Misery loves company.” Now I realize that the more haters someone has, the more they’re on the right track to great success! My haters will be my motivators!!

  30. Great point V! I’m the kind of person where if I have nothing good to say then I keep my mouth shut. What’s the point in nasty comments to bring someone down? And it takes a do-er to realize the efforts and hard work behind blogging and vlogging so I think we all deserve a pat on our back for having a creative outlet to exchange ideas amongst others in the community. And you are doing a great job V! Just want to let you know I enjoy reading your beauty reviews and inspiration posts! 🙂 xo~ Lena

    • Thanks Lena! And yes–much harder to criticize when you personally know how much work we put into creating our posts. Have a great weekend

  31. I’m so glad you posted this! I read so many mean comments on other people’s youtube all the time! I don’t see how they can deal with that kind of hate on a daily basis. But I guess, out of sight out of mind. It’s best to just ignore them, which I know is easier said than done. As much as I’d love to roll out video after video, that’s the one thing that kind of makes me rethink posting my video. I wonder what kind of comments I will get. It’s unfortunate that they have to disable comments because then they can’t interact with their subscribers who do enjoy the content they share.

  32. I completely agree with you. I love watching YouTube videos but now I don’t even scroll down the comments because of some of the things that you find posted.
    I hate reading hateful comments on people’s videos, I can’t imagine how those who post the videos must feel receiving them.
    I think hate puts people who actually want to get involved in a positive way off from sharing their thoughts in case of the backlash they might receive.

  33. So sad people spread their frustration on beauty videos… Back in the days my blog had some popularity, and I got a few trolls. I decided to ignore them and deleted them, but now I manage to keep my blog unnattractive and I avoid talking about beauty, makes it more relaxing.

    • That’s such a shame. I don’t understand people. I also moderate my comments, so I’m not sure if I got a negative comment if I would put it up

      • I think some people are so bored with their life they need to crush others to feel better. I thought it would be useless to loose precious time feeding trolls, and now I don’t have them anymore. For some reasons lipsticks attracks trolls more than cooking recipes and DIY…

  34. It is all over the internet I happen to just see on m.s.n. of a helicopter news reporter that is a transgender that now after going for the surgery is living the life that….now he wants to as a woman & you have to see so many things that people are writing about it….now I know that this is MORE extreme then say: u-tube because after all….it is something that I guess in time it will take people more time to be more open to trans genders including myself believe it or not…just because I might not agree to (all) of what they believe but that’s there life & if that’s what they want…..then every 1 should leave them alone & just wish them the best….it has even happened on my (old) W.P. Account not every one ever saw it because things were sent to my old email & that’s the 1 reason I closed that account & look now at Bruce Jenna, this now…will stir up s0000 many people of writing bad towards him… so yes it seems to be all around us…no matter who- what, the case is… I guess ? some people don’t have enough LOVE that they NEED to tare down people…..(BUT)-? thank GOD* there are MORE *Good people in the world…..interesting post u did V, Very good,,, 🙂 stay well to you & your readers !!!!!!

    • I’m sorry that happened to your account, Kelly. You’d think people would be more understanding on this forum. 😦 I’ve also seen some of the comments about Bruce Jenner. It’s such a shame that people say stuff like that. Even if you don’t agree with his life style–and whose right is it to agree or disagree with a lifestyle that isn’t hurting anyone?–I can’t imagine why anyone would leave a mean comment and think they are morally superior

  35. Love this post! Many times I have finished watching a YouTube tutorial and at least half of the comments are just plain nasty.
    I hesitated starting my blog because I was worried I would get the same treatment but luckily everyone has been super supportive xx

    • Yes, luckily the blogging community isn’t mean. When you’re a blogger, usually a lot of your followers are other bloggers, and we tend to be nice to each other

  36. Pingback: Internet Trolls | kimboxin

  37. Great post. YouTube really has to tighten up its security and put some real, tangible measures in place to stop online trolls. Insecure people get very brave hiding behind their keyboards!

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