YouTubers are unhappy again and I can see why. YouTube has announced their latest initiative called “YouTube Heroes” which is a new programme where YouTube wants viewers to help moderate the website.
It essentially creates a game out of content moderation where YouTubers over 18 can receive points for sharing knowledge on videos, captions or content. The more points you get as a hero then the more tools and perks you have access to as well as sneak peeks at upcoming features.
If you get to the fifth level, the highest level of YouTube hero then you will be able to speak directly with YouTube staff.
The problem is that this turns content moderation into a game where there is an incentive to do things such as mass flag videos so that you can receive more points.
What YouTube will run the risk of now is having so called heroes running around the website flagging content and comments which are deemed to be in violation of the community guidelines so that they can try get as many points as possible.
This could potentially stifle content and creators as moderation will be available en masse to anyone who is interested in doing it. While YouTube’s biggest problem is arguably the comments section, the solution is not to make moderation tools widely available and hope the community can sort it out themselves.
Personal grudges against YouTubers and censorship could become more prevalent and the YouTube promotional video has been hit with much negative feedback so far. At the time of writing it has been viewed 637,000+ times and has 3,604 likes and 217,616 dislikes.
Comments are also disabled for the video which is an interesting move from a company who wants people to be open and expressive as well as police what goes on themselves. Questions have also been raised as to whether YouTube will have the staff numbers to cope with the potential incoming level of complaints which may start to arrive due to this programme.
Would you be interested in being a YouTube hero?