YouTube enlists volunteers to moderate its site via a new “YouTube Heroes” program

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Earlier this month, YouTube launched its own social network of sorts with the debut of YouTube Community; now it’s enlisting help from viewers to help moderate it, along with other content on the video-sharing site. The company has announced the launch of a new, crowdsourced moderation program called “YouTube Heroes,” which asks volunteers to perform tasks like flagging inappropriate content, adding captions and subtitles, and responding to questions on the YouTube Help forum, among other things.

YouTube says that those who participate will be eligible to receive perks, including access to exclusive workshops and sneak preview product launches, for example.

The company didn’t make a formal announcement about YouTube Heroes, but instead published news via its YouTube Help channel, where it was spotted first by the blog 9to5Google.

In the video, YouTube further details the type of work the volunteers will do. On the moderation side, they won’t just be flagging individual videos, but will also have access to mass flagging tools that would allow them to check off a number of videos at once. They’ll also be tasked with moderating the new social communities on the site.

Heroes will have their own online dashboard to work from, and will be able to take part in “Hero hangouts” at times, the video says. At higher levels, they’ll be able to sneak peeks at new products or even test them out for themselves, as well as contact YouTube staff directly.

The new program follows YouTube’s latest effort to become more of a social platform.

YouTube Community was launched in mid-September as a means of offering video creators more ways to interact with their audience, beyond videos. On a new tab called “Community” on Channel pages, creators can share text, GIFs, images and other content with their viewers.

The service is now in public beta with several big-name YouTube users, but has yet to roll out to all. Getting moderation tools in place before that occurs is a sensible next step for YouTube.

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It’s common for Google to lean on crowdsourcing in an effort to better its products. The company already uses contributors called “Local Guides” to correct business listing information and write reviews, and it leverages crowdsourced travel information in its newly launched app, Google Trips.

As with some of its other programs, YouTube Heroes earn points for their work, which determines their “Hero Level.”

For instance, by flagging an inappropriate video, or writing a sentence for a subtitle, they receive one point. Answering a question on the Help forum that gets selected as the “Best Answer” is 10 points.

The YouTube Heroes program is now open for enrollment. Any individual (not a business or brand) can apply, so long as they have a valid YouTube channel and are of legal age.

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