YouTube wants heroes! Yes, yes it does. No really, it does…

This is the news that YouTube has decided to launch a new way of moderating the public content on the site by encouraging users to sign up and become a YouTube Hero…

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The announcement may come as something of a surprise to everyday users of YouTube, because the site already lets people report abusive or offensive content found on the site.

Some critics are already calling it a sceptical move by the Google owned video sharing site to moderate the site’s content for free and thus not having to pay staff to do the job.

So-called Heroes will be rewarded for reporting videos and comments they believe violate community guidelines.

“YouTube is a community, and over the years, people around the world have gotten involved by helping add captions and subtitles to videos, sharing knowledge with other users on YouTube Help forums and reporting content they believe violates our Community Guidelines,” 

The plan has also been criticised by YouTube stars and viewers alike, claiming that it will stifle debate and promote censorship on a massive level.

Heroes will gain rewards from a points based system that they will use to ‘level’ themselves up. There are currently five ranks available to try and rise through. Each level will have set rewards. Level five for instance, will allow ‘Heroes’ to try out new YouTube Features and effectively help Beta Test them before they are released to the general public.  I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t seem like much of an incentive.

But Heroes won’t just be able to rank up by reporting content they find offensive. Some of the work available will include adding subtitles to videos as well as being offering the opportunity to give free technical help to people on Google’s support forums.

The promo video released on YouTube had close to half a million views when I last checked it, but had garnered almost 150,000 dislikes, and only a few thousand likes, indicating the feeling of the YouTube community at large.

Despite all the negativity however, the Heroes program for YouTube is now open, and pretty much anyone with a YouTube login can participate.