This is from my latest video on YouTube. This is my dashboard, where I read the comments from viewers.
Metal Head 420 there is one of my regular viewers. He rarely misses commenting on my videos. Because he's an avid viewer, I have him set in my system to automatically approve all comments. I have several people I do this for because they do comment a lot, and most of those people have been shoved into spam or something at some point in time.
Now, here's the comment section on the actual video, what my viewers see:
Notice a problem?
As you can see, it says right there that there are five comments on the video. Me and and Metal Head 420 had a conversation, as usual. As you can also see, only one comment is publicly visible. And it isn't from Metal Head 420.
There is absolutely nothing I can do here. In my dashboard, his comments are published and public, but in actuality, they aren't. I don't know how or why this is a thing, but I can't fix it, and this is not the first time this has happened with this exact same commenter. His comments rarely actually show up for public view on my videos.
He has, on occasion, said things that some might see as being controversial. But I don't delete or hide those comments. I don't delete or hide comments - or ban commenters - unless they start threatening me or my viewers or start harassing (only once; a woman left 37 comments on a video because no one was taking her bait and fighting with her. In reality, no one understood what she was saying in her comments). This decision is mine, because I believe people have a right to their opinions. I've had people leave comments on my videos that were worse by leaps and strides than anything this commenter has left on any of my videos. Some of these comments make me cringe, but I leave them anyway.
That should be my decision. It's my video. The video is actually monetized, so YouTube is ok with it. Nothing he said was offensive or controversial. So why is the comment hidden and unhideable? Why am I being lead to believe, through my dashboard, that his comments are publicly visible when in reality they are not?
But no, shadow banning isn't a thing. Right.