YouTube Heroes is a new volunteer program that Google just launched to make YouTube a friendlier place by reporting videos, sharing knowledge or adding subtitles to videos.
YouTube is without the shadow of a doubt a toxic environment, at least when you look at the comment section on the site.
While there is without doubt a lot of good on the site as well, it is clear that Google's algorithms to keep YouTube clean are not working properly.
While commenting is an area on YouTube that needs improvement, Google tries to address more than that with its new YouTube Heroes program.
The YouTube Heroes Program is currently in beta and subject to change. Our goal is to have a positive impact on our users, and we look forward to refining the Program as it continues.
Update: Google modified the video in two key sections while keeping likes, dislikes and user comments. The company changed "report negative content" to "report inappropriate videos accurately", and "help moderate community content" to "help moderate content in the YouTube Heroes community".
This was likely done to make it clearer that users who are picked for the Heroes program won't be able to moderate user comments on YouTube. The only exception is on the YouTube Heroes community forum. End
YouTube Heroes uses a gamified system for volunteers. All members start at level one, and rise through the ranks which increases their level and the things they can do on the site.
If you are accepted into the program, you get the following rights right away:
Doing so earns you points and when you accumulate enough, you level up and unlock new tools and features doing so.
According to Google, accurately reporting a video or contributing a sentence that gets published as a subtitle earns one point, and answering questions on the YouTube Help forum with your answer being picked as best answer gets you 10 points.
It takes 10 points to level up to level 2, and 1000 points to reach level 5, the highest level currently.
It is interesting to note that Google puts the focus on flagging videos and not flagging community content.
As far as requirements are concerned, YouTube Heroes is only open to users who have a valid YouTube channel and are of legal age in their jurisdiction.
Anyone who meets the requirements can submit an application, but only select users will be accepted to the program.
YouTube is a massive site and it is clear that algorithms and Google's own staff are not sufficient to keep everything in order on it.
Getting users to volunteer their time to help Google with administrative tasks on the site is a clever move on part of Google.
While any YouTube user may report a video to YouTube, flagged videos by YouTube Heroes members will likely be prioritized over those reports.
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