YouTube announces crowdsourced censorship


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Captioning? But doesn’t captioning take a video, caption it, and upload the result as a second video? So where does the captioned version reside? Your channel, or the captioners, or kind of we own it now, suckers? Who gets to monetize it?

A certain teenager I know, definitely not my son, loves to take videos he does not own and add hilarious subtitles. Kind of like Bad Lipreading, but worse. Who would own his videos? Would they slip past the DMCA police?


The only people I can imagine falling for this are total suckers or trolls smart enough to realize that this program will reward them with power over their targets in exchange for a bit of apparent compliance.

I suspect that things will go swimmingly.

(edit: forgot one other likely category: if Google is too cheap to run their own metadata sweatshops, that seems like an…opportunity…for SEO scum to embed their own people as ‘heroes’ in order to advance whatever changes in visibility they are being paid to make. That should contribute considerably to the quality and utility of the platform.)


At first glance on the headline I thought this was going to be about community comment moderators…which still probably would have been bullshit, but it would have been something.


I can hear the elevator pitch:
“It’s like mechanical turk but instead of paying money we just give them meaningless points.”


From what i’ve seen on a screenshot yesterday on a video, the person running a channel has a page that shows contributors to captioning. So i presume that if someone were to mess around with the captions they’d be able to delete or point the finger at the person responsible.


I think most of the gamification for this program on Youtube is actually pretty good. Rewarding people for being helpful, captioning videos, etc. But the reporting and giving people additional administrative/flagging tools is where it falls apart, you can’t trust random people to be impartial when it comes to flagging and reporting. At least with Google employees you can train them and give them direction but a normal user is going to be in their own bubble and if they felt that someone was worth flagging they would be blind to any bias they might have and they’d be directly affecting some channels’ livelihoods.


I don’t see any way that this could possibly be abused or lead to undesirable outcomes.


YouTube should be a video repo that is as broad as the internet itself, with all legal content allowed. If this was the way it was implemented, categorizing by the crowd could create different islands of obscenity that would protect children. Other than that, if content isn’t already illegal then catering to the offenses of any one group opens the doors for the need to cater to all of them. And we’ve all seen what happens to a sense of humor when it tries to not offend. :roll_eyes:


I have a draft model for something like this. I believe it can be done (to a point) or I wouldn’t have a draft model for it. My model doesn’t use community moderation by itself. I don’t think community-moderation-only can work at a YouTube or Facebook scale.

Discourse uses a low key version of community moderation (without points or rewards as far as i can tell) and I don’t feel like I’m doing “sweat shop” labor when I flag posts. (Caveat: I’ve done unpaid moderation at scale before. It was miserable and I wouldn’t do it again. My feelings about Discourse’s community moderation might not be typical though.)

To your point, @Boundegar, I’ve captioned a video on YouTube that wasn’t mine. I did it because I really dig the channel and I need captions for video (not hard of hearing, just have audio processing issues). For the built in mechanism, it doesn’t replace or re-upload the video.

The reward is notoriety with other people who view with captions on. I felt the reward was pretty thin but I’d do it again if another channel I love allowed caption submissions because my real reward was giving back to someone who “gave” something to me.

I wouldn’t do work for YouTube on reward that thin but if you can tie the moderation work to the channel … I might.


What could go wrong? Besides YouTube has the nicest best crowds in the whole internet!

Yeah, this was my first thought…what a shitty way to try and get people to work for free.


That would seem to be they key issue. Giving the same people who are the problem more authority won’t fix it.


Youtube’s tactics seem akin to what the different developers for League of Legands and DOTA 2 have done. Try to gamify the community aspect of the platform in order to encourage better behavior. That’s why i think most of the things Youtube is trying to do can be done and are decent ideas, but the part of giving regular users special levels of authority to police content is by far the worst idea.


Undesired by whom, exactly? Whomever has the “wrong” videos or “wrong” ideas I guess.


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