Something in the media seems to have made it ok for the idea of potty training a puppy, or any kind of dog training, to be ok to do by force. Learning how to potty train a puppy is easier than you probably think and never needs violent training. Dog trainers have been shown to be forceful or use instruments such as choke chains or (gasp) newspapers.
Training a puppy does not need to be forceful. In fact, it should never be so. Training a young puppy does not need to be difficult or stressful, you just need to do it properly and it can actually be a fun bonding experience for the both of you. The idea of non violent puppy training is nothing new and many, better respected, trainers have used these methods and the idea of using two carrots and no stick to teach people how to potty train a puppy.
There should be no rubbing noses in messes, no scare tactics used on the young puppy and certainly no hands (or anything else) raised towards him or her. They're not necessary or beneficial to you, or your young puppy. Sometimes when correction is needed a harsh strict tone should be used to issue a 'no' command but that should be followed by praise when the behaviour is changed.
For example, when learning how to potty train a puppy you will likely catch your puppy in the act of doing their business inside (most likely, according to the law of sod, on your expensive rug). Now this behaviour needs correcting, but must be done so properly. You should issue a command such as 'no' or 'wrong' and use this same command and tone for every time. Immediately move your puppy out to the garden or potty area and repeat a command such as 'potty' and again, keep this command consistent throughout training. If and when your puppy then performs the correct action outside, you instantly follow that with praise before returning inside the house. That is how effective, non violent, puppy training works.
A lot of the ideas behind non violent dog training revolves largely around understanding the patterns, learning ability and instincts of a dog. When you can understand how they think, then working out how to potty train a puppy is easy. There are many great books on the subject but possibly the best (and certainly the oldest) is called the dog whisperer. The author worked with animal cruelty for years before publishing this superb book on non violent dog training and how to potty train a puppy without negative enforcement and it's been a guiding stone for many trainers, new and old.