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‘YouTube Heroes’ program turns users into a neighborhood watch

Users are monitoring content for points and privileges.


Nidia Cavazos


Posted on Sep 24, 2016   Updated on May 25, 2021, 10:43 pm CDT

Just about anyone can upload anything onto YouTube in minutes. It can be difficult for staff to monitor the site and ensure content abides to YouTube’s regulations.

To fix this, YouTube introduced its “YouTube Heroes” program this week, where users become volunteers and help staff filter inflammatory content.

The program is divided into several levels and users can ascend with points. A user can get points by adding captions or subtitles to a video, reporting negative content, or sharing knowledge with others by commenting on videos. With every level, the user gets more privileges.

At level 1, you become a hero and join the community. At level 2, a user will get access to exclusive workshops and take part in hero video chats. Level 3 comes with the privilege to flag videos and delete negative user comments. In level 4, users will get a sneak peaks to new products and direct communication with YouTube team members.

Its supposed to be a win-win situation, but this program will have to see whether users can accurately flag a video and delete comments fairly. Flagging should be done based on offending content like infringed copyrights or pornography, not whether a user agrees with its political views, for instance. The point is to create a neighborhood watch, but resources will have to be spent adequately to monitor the flaggers. 

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*First Published: Sep 24, 2016, 6:30 am CDT