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YouTubers Are Furious At The New Flagging System

"If mass flagging content I personally dislike or find "offensive" makes me a YouTube Hero, I'd rather be a YouTube Villain."

Originally posted on
Updated on

YouTube Heroes is a new YouTube initiative designed to reward users for flagging inappropriate content. On Tuesday YouTube released a video explaining how you can become a YouTube Hero and be rewarded with points for captioning, flagging, and sharing knowledge with other users.

While the initiative also aims to caption more videos and allows "heroes" have a sneak peek at new products, it is the mass flagging feature that has caused controversy.

Though comments are disabled, the down votes on the explanation video released indicate that the YouTube community is not happy.

And many people are actually flagging the video explaining YouTube Heroes.

Doing my bit for #YTHeroes! Hope I get to Level 2 soon.

Popular YouTubers such as Philip Defranco and boogie2988 have made videos ranting about YouTube Heroes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vXEB9LOPYg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dj0JA3gzvU

The "Youtube Heroes" program seems a bit like throwing everyone who wants one, a gun and badge, because you didn't… https://t.co/3IAMo0hT8X

This is not the first time the site has been accused of censorship and people have taken to Twitter to call out what they believe is a flawed system.

The community is already responsible for flagging videos. That's a thing you can do. YouTube is trying to pull out the worst in people here.

"Contact Youtube staff directly" Oh good something I couldn't do when my old channel got suspended because mass Persona flagging #YTHeroes

If mass flagging content I personally dislike or find "offensive" makes me a YouTube Hero, I'd rather be a YouTube Villain.

#YTHeroes Earn access and favors (but not money) for moderating @YouTube, and do so with zero qualifications. What's not to love?

YouTube has responded to the criticism and expanded on the flagging system.

We hear your #YTHeroes feedback: we always review flagged content & only remove if it violates community guidelines. https://t.co/vH9Q7NjNBx

BuzzFeed News reached out to YouTube for comment and they directed us to a blog, entitled "Growing our Trusted Flagger program into YouTube Heroes".

In a lengthy post, they wrote: "It’s early days for the program and we will continue to roll out the details of YouTube Heroes and the dedicated YouTube Heroes Community site over the coming months. We’re excited to learn through this initial launch and to continue improving the program over time, as we’ve done with our Trusted Flagger program."

Read YouTube's full statement here.

Cassie Smyth is a staff writer at BuzzFeed and is based in London.

Contact Cassie Smyth at cassie.smyth@buzzfeed.com.

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