Wow, YouTube’s been piling up the hate lately.
Last time we discussed YouTube’s shenanigans, I might have been a bit too harsh on them. Regarding their new Advertiser-Friendly policy, I can understand why they employed it. They have to appease their advertisers and creators, so they created a system to remove ads from videos that advertisers don’t want to be associated with while allowing the creators an easier means of contesting the demonetization claims.
My issue was with how openly the language could be interpreted and how easily it could be exploited. But, as a system to appease all parties, I get it; it makes sense.
There is NO excuse, however, for YouTube Heroes.
For those not in the know, YouTube Heroes is a new experimental system where YouTube is extending the job of editing and regulating content to the viewing audience and rewarding them with new privileges based on a ‘level up’ style system – privileges like direct communication staff members and workshops that high-profile creators should probably have by default.
What’s more, part of the job of people using the YouTube Heroes program is to report inappropriate content like offensive comments and videos.
Basically, YouTube is asking you to do their job with no pay. Hmm, why does THIS sound so familiar?
But the bigger issue here isn’t unpaid labor, it’s UNSKILLED labor. YouTube is putting the power of content management in the hands of people who, judging from the average comment section, are quick to anger and would be the most likely to flag down videos and comments – not because they were inappropriate – but because they just didn’t agree with them.
Unless YouTube comes out and says that they have a plan to ensure the quality of those using the service (unlikely, as they have disabled comments on the video to quiet the negative feedback), this is a terrible idea. Nearly every attempt to include the digital community in a major business has ended in failure purely by virtue of the fact that they can’t control the actions of random strangers. It’s the business equivalent of handing chimpanzees machetes and NOT expecting them to hack up a few people.
In short, my open letter can be simplified as such; Youtube, start doing your own damn job. And if you don’t have the people to pull it off, stop being so stingy and expand like a responsible business should.