YouTube has a staggering amount of new content added on a minute-by-minute basis (hundreds of hours), making it impossible for humans to review it all before it goes live. So automated systems do the heavy lifting, but this has lead to some content being flagged as inappropriate when it really shouldn’t be. Google’s answer to this is a global community of volunteers who help police content in return for perks.
YouTube Heroes will be able to mass flag inappropriate content as well as add captions and subtitles to videos. They’ll have a direct line to YouTube staff and can share their knowledge with other YouTube users. Google will help with training by holding workshops and hero video chats, which if you pass gains you access to supertools allowing you to help filter YouTube for the masses.
Heroes will be rewarded using a points system. Points are accrued by carrying out “qualifying contributions.” Earn enough points and perks are unlocked, which so far include access to new services early, testing new features first, and potentially going to a Heroes Summit. Direct access to YouTube staff is also viewed as a perk.
This is a clever way for Google to get thousands of real people reviewing video content and comments every day. But it can also be viewed as Google finding a very cheap solution to its ongoing (and growing) problem of content moderation. YouTube Heroes costs the company a tiny amount and is sure to be popular. I think the perks could be improved a lot, though, and hopefully will be in the coming months.
Want to be a YouTube Hero? Just head on over to the sign-up page.