“At best, it’s a reminder that I’m doing something right. At worst, it’s cyberbullying.”
The YouTube comments section can be a source of joy for many, but often it is also used as a platform for abuse and trolling. Ruby Price discusses this in her video Addressing My YouTube Comments Section, speaking about the specific kinds of negative comments she receives due to her identity. “Being an overtly trans woman online, I’m used to getting comments from TERFs and trolls,” she admits.
Ruby talks about how, in addition to generic hate comments, she also specifically attracts two categories of comments: “trans deniers” and unwanted sexualisation. Some of these comments even take the form of essays, at times even including sources. “I think the people who comment these things are obviously trying to invalidate and belittle me,” she explains. “But, as those who follow me on other social media will know, all they do is make me laugh. At best it’s a reminder that I’m doing something right. At worst, it’s cyberbullying.”
However, despite the abuse she faces, Ruby refuses to disable comments on her videos. She says this is because of how much she values the genuine interaction from her audience too much to let the trolls get in the way. “It’s you that makes me feel like I’m worth watching,” she says. “You help me when I’m at my creatively lowest. Your comments are worth a million of those category one or two comments.”
Instead, she is finding alternative ways to make her comments section more welcoming, deleting and blocking comments that attack her gender identity or offer unwanted advances. Internet self-care is important – if specific types of tweets or comments affect you negatively, you can report them, mute certain words, and block users. Make the internet the welcoming place that you want it to be! You have to be extremely strong to not let these kinds of messages get to you and, in this video, Ruby treats this issue with just the right balance of seriousness and humour. People may say things to us to try and hurt us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t laugh at them instead!