Moderate live chat

Moderating your live chat lets you interact with your audience and curate your Live stream experience in a way that works for you. YouTube gives you the tools that you need to keep yourself and your viewers safe.

Note: Everyone who participates in a live chat can report or block another user.

How to Moderate Live Chat on YouTube

Before your live chat

Get ready for your live chat session by setting up these moderation tools. Some of these tools can be used during and after your live stream too.

Subscribers-only live chat

You can make live chat only available to your subscribers, and you can specify how long viewers must be subscribed. This setting can be changed before and during your live stream or Premiere.

To turn on subscriber-only live chat for Premieres:

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. From Content, select the Premiere that you want to update.
  3. In Details, go to Show more and then Live chat.
  4. Under Participants mode, select Subscribers.

When you turn on subscribers-only chat, your audience will be notified that it's turned on and how long they must be subscribed to send messages.

Slow mode and subscribers-only chat can be turned on at the same time. Members-only chat and subscribers-only chat can't be turned on at the same time.

To turn on subscribers-only chat:

  1. Go to Live Control Room.
  2. From your live stream, click Edit.
  3. Click Live chat.
  4. Under 'Who can send a message', select Subscribers.
  5. Optional: Choose how long viewers must be subscribed before they can send live chat messages.
  6. Click Save.
Note: If a viewer participates in a subscriber-only live chat, other viewers will publicly see that they're subscribed to the channel.

Members-only live chat

You can hold live chats that are exclusively for your members. To turn on members-only live chat on your computer:
  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. At the top right, click CREATE and then Go live.
  3. From the left-hand menu, click Stream.
  4. Create a stream:
    1. To copy a previous stream: Select a previous stream and click Reuse settings.
    2. To create a new stream: Enter your stream's info and click Create stream.
  5. From the top right-hand corner, click Edit.
  6. Under 'Live chat', select Enable members-only chat.
  7. Click Save.

To turn on members-only chat for Premieres:

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. From Content, select the Premiere that you want to update.
  3. In Details, go to Show more and then Live chat.
  4. Under Participants mode, select Subscribers.

Live commentary mode

You can set up your live chat to only allow approved users as live chat participants during a live stream session. Only users that you select may send live chat messages, other viewers may view these messages alongside your live stream or Premiere.

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. At the top right, click CREATE and then Go live.
  3. Under Customisation, tick the Live chat box to turn on Live chat.
  4. Select 'Live commentary' to enable. (You can update the 'Approved users' list in community settings).
  5. Optional: Add channel URLs to the approved users list. Note: if no channels are in your 'Approved users' list, your channel will be the only user approved to use live chat.
  6. Click Next to save.

To turn on live commentary mode for Premieres:

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. From Content, select the Premiere that you want to update.
  3. In Details, go to Show more and then Live chat.
  4. Under Participants mode, select Subscribers.

Assign moderators

A moderator is someone who you trust to help build a positive, safe channel experience for your community. A moderator helps review and manage comments that users leave on a video or the messages that participants send during a stream's live chat. There are two types of moderators: a standard moderator and managing moderator. A managing moderator has more permissions than a standard moderator. Learn more here.

YouTube app

  1. Open the YouTube app .
  2. Start your live stream by pressing the Plus, then Live, to start live chat.
  3. Next to a chat message, click the menu ''. and select Add as managing moderator or Add as standard moderator.

YouTube Studio app

  1. Open YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left, click Settings and then Community.
  3. From the Automated filters tab, enter the channel URL in the 'Managing moderators' or 'Standard moderator' box.
  4. Click Save.

Block messages containing certain words

To block live chat messages that contain or closely match certain words, create a list of blocked words in YouTube Studio.
  1. Open YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left, click Settings and then Community.
  3. From the Automated filters tab and then 'Blocked words', enter a list of blocked words. Messages containing any of these words will be blocked from your live chat.
  4. Click Save.

Hold potentially inappropriate live chat messages for review

YouTube can hold potentially inappropriate live chat messages. If you opt in, live chat messages that our system identifies will be held for review in the chat feed. You have the final decision on whether to show or hide these chat messages. No system is perfect, but this feature can make it easier for you to moderate live chat messages on your live stream.
Turn 'hold for review' on or off
  1. Go to YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left, tap Settings and then Community and then Defaults.
  3. Under 'Messages in your live chat', tick or untick Hold potentially inappropriate chat messages for review.
Once you've turned on 'hold for review', you can hide or show messages that YouTube holds.
  • If you select SHOW: chat messages are displayed in the chat stream at the original time that they were entered.
  • If you select HIDE: chat messages remain hidden from viewers.
  • If you take no action: chat messages remain hidden from viewers.

Slow mode

Slow mode allows you to limit how often each user can comment by setting a time limit between comments. The channel owner, moderators and YouTube channel members are not limited.
Turn on in Live Control Room and then Streaming
  1. Create a live stream.
  2. Click Edit.
  3. Click Customisation.
  4. Under 'Message delay', tick Slow mode. Enter how long you want participants to wait between sending messages.

Turn live chat on or off

You can turn live chat on or off at any time, even after the event has started. You cannot turn off Live chat on Premieres.

From the top right, click Edit and then Live chat and then Enable live chat.

During your live chat

Manage moderation activity in live chat feed

You can turn moderation activity on or off in live chat feeds. The default setting for live chat moderation is to remain off.

From the live chat feed

  1. From the live chat feed, click More ''..
  2. Then click More and then Toggle moderation activity.

Tip: if you clear your browser cache or have other channels, check your moderation activity settings to make sure whether moderation activity is on or off.

Moderate messages and viewers from the live chat feed

On your computer, hold down 'ALT'/'Option' on your keyboard to pause the chat feed and point to messages. You'll see options to:
  • Delete the message.
  • Place the user in time out.
  • Hide the user from the chat message feed or comments section on your channel.

Tip: Moderators can learn about a live chat participant by going directly to their channel.

  • On computer: Hover over a message, click More ''. and then Go to channel.
  • On mobile: Tap a message and then Go to channel.

Access channel activity from live chat feed

Note: Currently, only available on desktop.
You and moderators can access public user history from the live chat feed by clicking Channel activity from the menu. It will display:
  • User's public profile picture 
  • User's public handle
  • YouTube join date
  • Number of subscribers of the user
  • Public live chat messages (max 50 messages per stream)

It will also contain total counts of moderation actions taken against the user in the last year:

  • Deleted messages
  • Timeouts
  • Hides

Hide or show a viewer from live chat

Hiding is often reserved for participants who ignore guidelines and warnings and repeatedly send inappropriate messages. When you hide someone from the channel, their chat messages and comments will no longer be visible to other viewers. YouTube doesn't let the user know that you've hidden them.
From the live chat feed
  1. From the live chat feed, find a message from the viewer that you want to hide.
  2. Next to the message, click More ''. and then Hide user.
From YouTube Studio
  1. Open YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left, click Settings and then Community.
  3. From the Automated filters tab and then 'Hidden users', type the name of the viewer you want to hide.
  4. To unhide a viewer, click the X next to their name. They can now leave comments and live chat messages on your channel.
  5. Click Save.
Note: This will also hide the user from the comments. Users that you have hidden will be visible in Hidden Users in Community Settings.

After your live chat

Live chat replay

After a live stream has ended, live chat replay is available on all stream archives. This will replay the chat alongside the stream exactly as it appeared when the stream was live. Live chat replay is turned on by default on all of your live streams.
To turn off Live chat replay
  1. Go to youtube.com/my_videos.
  2. Click the Live tab.
  3. Select a video.
  4. Click the Customisation tab.
  5. Deselect the box next to 'Live chat replay'.

View or delete your live chat history

You can view live chats that you've participated in during YouTube live streams.
  1. Go to History.
  2. On the right-hand side of the page, click Live chat.
  3. Scroll down and find the live chat message. To delete it, hover over it and click X.
If you have sponsored chats or Super Chats, you can see them too. Deleting a Super Chat message post-live stream will not result in a refund.
Note: Based on user reports, YouTube may turn off Live chat on your video if your stream's content or Live chat is violating our Community Guidelines.

View comments after your stream has ended

Live chat isn't available after your live stream ends but comments will appear below the video player.

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