Is Youtube Heroes secretly a villain in disguise?

Youtube recently published a video on 20th September announcing a new community program to reward youtubers for helping report negative comments, add captions & subtitles and engage with the conversation. By doing so, they will earn points which you grant them different rewards. The higher you progress, the better the rewards. Sounds good so far right? I mean, we are encouraged to help clean up youtube content and get rewarded for it?

Well, that’s not how the internet have reacted. Since the video was published 2 days ago, it has aggregated over 177k dislikes, which puts it within the 200 most disliked Youtube videos of all time. The last time I remember a Youtube video which generated so much hate was one of the latest Call of Duty game trailers.

It’s also currently the 1st and 2nd most talked about topic in /R/videos in Reddit and I should foresee it shared on social media fairly soon.

Let’s dig down further into why there’s so much hate for Youtube Heroes? To do this, we need to further understand what they are offering to the community. They’re encouraging youtube users to perform 3 main tasks: flagging inappropriate content, adding captions & subtitles to videos and share their knowledge with other users in the Youtube Help forum. They stated that contributors to the Youtube Heroes will have access to certain rewards via a tier system. Currently, they have announced 5 levels with different rewards. To progress to the next level, you are required to earn a set number of points by completing the 3 tasks. Some of the rewards are being invited to exclusive workshops, taking part in HERO hangouts, sneak preview product launches, contact Youtube staff directly, test products before release and apply for Heroes summit. These rewards aren’t the best sounding and that seems to be the reason that has caused the sheer many number of dislikes.

Or perhaps many have disliked this video in pure spite, after they recent changes which have affected the way Youtuber’s content is moderated for use of excessive violence or inappropriate content and effectively wouldn’t be monetised. This problem, has been brought up by many popular Youtubers such as Phillip De Franko and Pewdiepie, mainly due to the supposedly lack of communication from Youtube, before they announced the changes.

Although Youtube are hoping this new rewards system will help clean up their site and make it better for the user, I foresee certain channels that users don’t like and just report all their videos, even if they are not offensive. However, Youtube have stated in the Youtube Hero Program rules that Heroes must accurately report videos in order to receive points.

“Each YouTube Hero who is in compliance with these Rules will be able to earn points for every qualifying contribution to YouTube (such as accurately flagging inappropriate videos),  that is verifiable and organic, and not gamed, improperly received or otherwise in violation of these Rules, including the YouTube Community Guidelines (each a “Qualifying Contribution”).  We will determine each qualifying Contribution.


“Any abuse of the point system, the Program, or other violative behavior, may reduce the points accrued in your program account and/or restrict or prohibit any aspect of your participation in the Program.”

The Youtube Heroes program is still in beta, so it might be expected that they alter the rewards or the way the system works after viewing the initial responses.

Popular Youtuber OfficialNerdCubed has recently posted a video about how he thinks they can improve this system.