Youtube: $12 Billion dollars in revenue, still wants you to work for free.

Adland: 

Youtube ; "Growing our trusted flagger program post reveals to me that the future of Youtube isn't just at stake due to their ad cleanup which disproportionally affects content creators, they've opened themselves up to be played by outside lobbying parties who have an agenda.

Back in 2012, we noticed that certain people were particularly active in reporting Community Guidelines violations with an extraordinarily high rate of accuracy. From this insight, the Trusted Flagger program was born to provide more robust tools for people or organisations who are particularly interested in and effective at notifying us of content that violates our Community Guidelines.

In other words, volunteers with an agenda are already trusted flaggers. These could be people who are working for organisations like PETA/ASPCA who are reporting videos showing animal abuse so that the uploaders/creators cannot monetize such things. For example. They could also be politically motivated flaggers for other reasons, perhaps they belong to religious groups or political groups. Youtube announced that these flaggers will have more power now.

Given the success of the Trusted Flagger program, we want to do more to empower the people who contribute to YouTube in other ways. That’s why we’re introducing YouTube Heroes, a program designed to recognise and support the global community of people who consistently help make YouTube a better experience for everyone. These “Heroes” do this in big and small ways by adding captions & subtitles to videos, reporting videos that violate our community guidelines, or sharing their knowledge with others in our help forums.

This "free workforce for us" idea saves Youtube's bottom line, obviously, but it also opens up for organisations that are politically motivated to police the content on Youtube. Who but those paid for it will have the time to check for things that "violate our community guidelines" when it comes to things like hate speech and copyright violations? This will be a system that political actors can game. It gets better;

YouTube Heroes will have access to a dedicated YouTube Heroes community site that is separate from the main YouTube site, where participants can learn from one another.

Just like the Wikipedia and any other internet fad that is based on the hivemind, this means that some "leaders" will invariably rise to the top in this community. That's how humans work, we're herd people. Advertisers know this, that's why we hire Instagram influencers to talk about shit products. These influencers in the Youtube Flag community will then influence the community to work for them, setting the agenda of what type of content should be flagged. You might as well set aside a budget for buying these guys already. Meanwhile, just like all other internet monoliths based on the hivemind of user generated content, Youtube takes the big fat paycheck without having to share it with the flaggers. If there's something Google is really adapt at, it's making peope work for them for free. And that's not even mentioning how stingy they are as an advertising client - the only time I ever pity the bro-creatives who work at 72andSunny.

Those interested in becoming a Youtube Hero can join the "Youtube heroes" program here, and I suggest advertising agencies get their interns on it. They're watching Youtube all day anyway. That was sarcasm, kids. Meanwhile, the only safe bet in the Youtube ad scene is still the Vevo area of Youtube.

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

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