On September 20th, YouTube rolled out a new program called “YouTube Heroes.” YouTube will distribute points to users for captioning, flagging, and reporting videos on the site. This has people who making a living off of YouTube worried about a “mob rule” taking down their videos and hurting their channel in a serious way.
Below is the introduction video for “YouTube Heroes”
Users will gain points when they “add captions or subtitles to a video, report inappropriate videos accurately, or share your knowledge with others.” As users gain points, they will enter a tier system that will consist of four levels:
Level 1 “Become a Hero” – Access the heroes dashboard and join the community.
Level 2: “Continue Your Training” – Learn more at exclusive workshop and take part in hero video chats,,
Level 3 “Unlock Super Tools” – Mass flag videos and help moderate content in the YouTube Heroes community.
Level 4 “Go Behind the Scenes” – Get a sneak peek at new products and contact YouTube staff directly.
Level 5 “Access Top Hero Perks” – Test new feature before release.
It now seems like a community of YouTube users who gain enough points will have heavy influence to take down videos and possibly entire channels. Commentary channels thrive off mobilizing their viewers to downvote and flood comment sections, among other more vicious mob activities. Popular YouTube personality PewDiePie has been pretty blunt on what he thinks about commentary channels, calling them “cancer.”
YouTube currently has a flagging program called the “Trusted Flagger” program. YouTube explains this program by saying “Our ‘Trusted Flaggers’ results around flagging content that violates our Community Guidelines speak for themselves: their reports are accurate over 90% of the time. This is three times more accurate than the average flagger.”
It will be interesting to see if the Heroes program is abused or used correctly. The internet isn’t known to be a very nice place, so only time will tell if this will come back and bite YouTube in the behind.