YouTube is experimenting with a new option called ‘Pause’ that can prevent new comments from being added on a video, while preserving the ones that were already posted.
This is different from the regular “turn off comments” option on YouTube which deactivates all comments, including the ones that have been posted under a video. Additionally, creators will be seeing three categories in their comment controls: “On”, “Pause”, and “Off”, among some additional sub-settings for comment moderation.
The new setting, however, is meant to give creators more control over how they can manage discussions around videos while turning off comments at a certain time in future. It can be particularly helpful in situations where a video is getting too much unwanted attention due to any reason.
Once the setting is enabled on a video, viewers will see a “comments are paused” notification in the comment section.
Since the option is currently available as part of an experiment only, it is being introduced to a limited number of channels on the YouTube app as well as YouTube Studio on both desktop and mobile. Creators that are part of the experiment will see the option in their video-level comment settings in the form of an icon in the upper right-hand corner of the comments panel on the watch page.