MONOLITH LAW OFFICE+81-3-6262-3248Weekdays 10:00-18:00 JST



How to Remove Defamation and Reviews on YouTube


How to Remove Defamation and Reviews on YouTube

Overview of YouTube

YouTube is a video sharing service launched by the American company, YouTube, Inc. Videos posted on YouTube can be viewed from a web browser as long as there is an internet connection. You can watch videos without registration by searching with keywords related to the video you want to see. There is also a smartphone app, so you can easily use it from your smartphone.
If you have a Google account, you can also post comments on the videos you’ve watched.

With its excellent usability, YouTube quickly spread worldwide. However, there was a time when it became a problem due to the mass uploading of illegal content that infringed on copyrights and other rights.

In recent years, there has been an increase in people who earn money from advertising revenue from videos they have posted on YouTube, known as YouTubers. A rate is set per click, so the more views a video gets, the more income is generated. Gaming commentary and children’s related videos are among the genres that tend to get a lot of views. The emergence of YouTubers has arguably lowered the barrier for ordinary people to post videos.

Potential Defamation on YouTube

How to remove defamatory articles from Hatena Blog

YouTube, with its easy-to-post review system, is a site that carries a high risk of posts intended for defamation. We have summarized the possible contents of defamatory reviews for your reference.

Comments Encouraging Violence and Discrimination

For instance, there may be discriminatory remarks such as “N-word lol” on videos posted by black people. There may also be unbearable abusive language written against the uploader or the people appearing in the video, such as “Die” or “I’ll kill you”. Since YouTube comments can be made anonymously, there is a possibility of inhumane content being posted.

Harassment and Cyberbullying

For example, there may be defamatory comments about the video uploader’s appearance, such as “Gross mouth breather” or “Ugly”. There may also be criticism of the content, such as “This video is boring, let’s all give it a low rating” or “I wasted my time watching this. Stop streaming”. As YouTube has a relatively young user base, there is a high risk of such childish insults being posted.

Invasion of Privacy

For example, someone who has been stalking a popular YouTuber may post the YouTuber’s address or real name, which are personal information, in the comment section. There is also a risk that acquaintances who hold a grudge against the uploader may post content that can identify the individual. Not only addresses and names, but also phone numbers, workplaces, and bank account numbers should be protected as private information.

How to Remove YouTube Comments for Violating Terms of Service

Discovering defamatory comments in the comment section of your own video can evoke feelings of sadness and anger. While you may want to retaliate, responding to such provocations is exactly what the commenter wants. Ignoring them is often the best course of action, but there may be instances where you cannot bear to leave the comment public on the site.

In such cases, consider submitting a request to YouTube to remove the comment. To have the comment removed, you need to either prove its illegality or demonstrate that it violates the site’s terms of service. Start by reviewing YouTube’s guidelines.

YouTube Guidelines

Here, we will introduce an excerpt regarding defamation.

Offensive Content
While Google services are platforms for free expression, content that promotes or tolerates violence against individuals or groups based on race, ethnicity, religion, disability, gender, age, nationality, veteran status, social class, sexual orientation, or gender identity, or content that incites discrimination based on these personalityistics, cannot be posted.[ja]

For example, the term “Kuronbo w” could be considered racial or ethnic discrimination, and there is a possibility that it could be removed in accordance with these guidelines.

Harassment and Cyberbullying
Posting harassing videos or comments on YouTube is not allowed. If harassment escalates to malicious attacks, we can remove it if reported. Otherwise, if you feel a slight discomfort, please ignore and let it pass.[ja]

According to the above provision, it is clear that harassing comments are subject to removal. However, it is also written that if you feel a slight discomfort, you should overlook it. It might be difficult to get content removed for minor insults like “gross” or “ugly”.

Acts such as robbery, stalking, threats, harassment, extortion, invasion of privacy, leaking other users’ personal information, or inciting other users to commit violent acts or violate the terms of use are not allowed. If such acts are discovered, the perpetrator will be permanently banned from YouTube.[ja]

For example, a comment like “Are you watching, uploader? I’ll kill you if you don’t delete this video” is likely to be considered a threat under the guidelines. In the case of threats, the penalty is not just removal but permanent banishment, which is a severe penalty.

If another user posts your personal information without your consent or uploads your video, you can request the removal of the content based on YouTube’s privacy guidelines.[ja]

If personal information such as your address or phone number is posted, you can apply for the content to be removed.

How to Submit a Deletion Request to YouTube

Now that you understand what kind of content can be targeted for deletion, let’s move on to how to submit a deletion request to YouTube. There are three ways to remove reviews on YouTube:

Report from the video page
Proceed with a privacy violation claim
Take deletion procedures against comments

Reporting from the video page is the easiest method.

Select and display the comment you want to delete, then tap ‘Report’ from the mark on the right end. The following screen will appear, so select the relevant item and tap ‘Report’ to complete.

In the case of defamatory expressions, ‘Harassment, bullying’ is often selected.
If you want to claim a privacy violation, such as when personal information is written, consider proceeding with a privacy violation claim. For detailed methods on how to make a privacy violation claim, please refer to this article.[ja]

As a third method, it is also possible to apply for the deletion of illegal comments. When you access the ‘Remove content from YouTube’ screen, a screen will appear where you can select items as shown below.

What is the method to apply for the deletion of defamatory comments on YouTube videos? A lawyer explains

When you select the relevant item, a request form for each issue will be presented, so fill in the necessary information.

How to Legally Request the Removal of Youtube Reviews

In cases where you want to request the removal of defamatory reviews, it is common to claim defamation of personality. Defamation is recognized when specific false information is presented, which can be judged to have tarnished the social reputation of an individual or a company. For example, let’s say there is a review that says, “This video is a rip-off of another channel.” Being known as a user who posts rip-off videos is nothing but an act of lowering one’s reputation. If you can prove that the rip-off claim is false, there is a good chance that defamation can be established.

However, you must legally assert the basis for saying that the review is not true, and what rights are being violated by this review. Such assertions can be difficult for a layperson, so it is recommended to consult a lawyer who is strong in dealing with online defamation.

By the way, YouTube has a dedicated form for defamation claims, so there is a possibility that the management side will respond to the removal without having to file a lawsuit.[ja]

How to Remove YouTube Reviews through Provisional Disposition

When requesting a court to issue a deletion order, you will likely need to go through a provisional disposition procedure. This is a faster process compared to a full trial. If defamatory reviews on the internet remain published on the site for an extended period, the risk of reputational damage increases. Because a swift response is required, provisional dispositions are often used in practice more than trials.

However, even in the case of provisional dispositions, legal arguments are necessary, similar to a trial. You need to clarify what rights have been violated and why it can be said that those rights have been violated, etc. Therefore, it is recommended to seek the assistance of a lawyer instead of attempting to handle it on your own.[ja]

How to Identify Posters and Remove YouTube Reviews

One method is to identify the poster and request the individual to remove the post.

Identifying the poster requires two legal procedures. First, you request the site to disclose the IP address. Once the IP address is known, you can identify the provider that supplied the internet connection to the poster. Then, you initiate a lawsuit to request the provider to disclose the sender’s information. If the request is granted, you can obtain personal information such as address and name, and directly negotiate with the individual to request the removal of the post.

Furthermore, if the other party can be identified, it is also possible to claim damages.[ja]


We have introduced the content of defamatory reviews posted on YouTube and the method of deleting these reviews. YouTube has a large number of users and allows for relatively easy posting of reviews, so there is a risk of defamation and reputational damage. First, check if the post violates the guidelines and submit a deletion request to the site yourself.

If your request fails, consider taking legal action such as provisional dispositions and identifying the poster through the court. Legal arguments are essential in court proceedings to prove illegality, so it is wise to seek the help of a professional lawyer.

Managing Attorney: Toki Kawase

The Editor in Chief: Managing Attorney: Toki Kawase

An expert in IT-related legal affairs in Japan who established MONOLITH LAW OFFICE and serves as its managing attorney. Formerly an IT engineer, he has been involved in the management of IT companies. Served as legal counsel to more than 100 companies, ranging from top-tier organizations to seed-stage Startups.

Return to Top