Everyone knows that the internet is full of the sadist, sexist, and racist ranters, not to forget the stalkers, trolls, bullies, and havoc agitators, extortions based on false videos, terrorism, and a lot more.
The entire industry is full of people called the ‘moderators’, who are paid for patrolling the popular sites like Twitter and Facebook, and news websites like The New York Times and The Washington Post. And weed out posts and comments that are offensive.
YouTube has tried many tricks including the Google (Plus) based real-time requirements which have been designed to bring down the beast. YouTube also tried ‘flagging’ by the users themselves to alert the moderators towards content which should be possibly removed. An elite team of the trusted flaggers gives the users the access to progressive flagging tools along with periodic feedback which makes flagging of offensive content more efficient and effective.
YouTube reports that since 2006 more than 90 million users have flagged videos on its site, and more than a third of these people have flagged more than one video.
YouTube Heroes – The New Gaming Effort against Offensive Content
YouTube has proposed a new effort which is more like a gaming attempt to coax the users for mass flagging of all the offensive content along with doing other things. This mass flagging of the content will be then reviewed by the YouTube officials and professionals, and if found offensive, the video is removed.
The company had reported in a blog post that YouTube Heroes will have complete access to a devoted community site, apart from the main YouTube site, wherein the participants can learn a lot from each other. Through this program, the participants will be able to earn points and then they can unlock the rewards so that they can reach to the next level. For example, at Level 2, the Heroes get training access by exclusive workshops and with Hero Hangouts, while at Level 3, the Heroes who have already demonstrated their efficiency can now flag multiple videos at the same time, something which is possible only for the privileged Trusted Flaggers. This will help in strictly keeping the moderate content within the YouTube Heroes Community site itself.
Reactions of the Users
Within of day of announcing about the YouTube Heroes, the video had garnered almost 1,015,700 views, with a whopping 342,033 users voting a ‘thumbs-down’, whereas just 5,500 users voting a ‘thumbs-up’. The comments must have become so malicious that the company disabled the comments section. However, the users flocked to Twitter to express their reaction, along with a bunch of spoofs which was posted on YouTube. Few regarded it as just a snitch reward program, while some said that it would stimulate more vigilance from YouTube, and some said that it was a way of getting the users to do the work for which the company should be paying them.
Twitter was flooded with ridiculing tweets that were questioning the idea of YouTube Heroes, and about how the company introduced something just because it had an angry mob at it. They even called YouTube Heroes as YouTube Vigilante Mobs. By keeping in mind the user reactions, it surely seems like an idea which can go wrong quickly.
Apart from the credits given to the YouTube Heroes idea, it was suggested by a few that this way of introducing it has given scope for a lot of imagination to the users and perhaps even economic aspirations to a few since many YouTube users make some good money from their video sponsorships.
The YouTube channel and video creators have told that it is a huge project which has been explained in a small video and that they need more information about it. Though many sites encourage the users to turn into the lawman themselves, it is still not sure about how an online community of volunteers who are not paid for the job will help in getting rid of inappropriate trolls and contents from YouTube.
There is kind of an iron law according to which no regular YouTube user is ever in favor of something that has been introduced newly going by the likes of Facebook, Twitter, or Google. YouTube should seriously start hoping that this program starts making a quick difference.