YouTube has amassed quite a bit of criticism in the last 24 hours over their YouTube Heroes program and they claim to have received the message. Currently there are a little over 400k dislikes on their YouTube Heroes video, as well as numerous response videos expressing concern over the potential abuse of such a system.
YouTube has responded by saying that “trusted” flaggers have already been allowed to mass flag videos and that this program has been in use as early as 2012. The success rate for flagging and removal of actual inappropriate content is stated to be at 90% which they claim is three times more accurate than the average flagger.
Considering over 92 million videos have been removed in 2015 alone and is not is representative of their trusted group of flaggers who they praise for a 90% success rate, the number of videos wrongly removed is at minimum 9 million videos and could be as many as 70 million in analysts are to be believed. This does not even take into account automated flagging that leads to demonetization of videos such as the situation with Philip DeFranco.
Youtube also makes sure to mention that any video that is flagged is reviewed by their internal staff to ensure that users are not being falsely banned or videos wrongly removed. This looks to be a straight up lie as YouTube has had an automated system in place for years if this has been completely changed they have not informed anyone that they have done so up until now. This also goes completely contrary to their claims considering the recent automated ban and subsequent unbanning of YouTuber I Hate Everything, which is gone into further detail by the man himself below.
Further issues come up when we look at false DMCA claims which is subject to the same automated system causing immediate removals of videos putting good faith trust in the individual or group claiming a DMCA. This process was made more widely known with the recent WTFU hashtag which was spearheaded by Channel Awesome. When videos are taken down by a false DMCA claim, they can require days or even months of discussion between YouTube and the affected YouTuber to get restored, costing the affected user both time and money.
While YouTube promised to do better in 2012 the automated system still appears fully in place and if these flagged videos are being reviewed by actual people, there seems to be a lot of errors. You can watch the original WTFU video below.
YouTube needs to be transparent with its internal review process and make it clear as to whether or not their automated removal system has been discontinued or not while ensuring that their rules are consistent and clear, both to their users and their staff so less of these false flags are able to go through.
You Can Read YouTube’s full response here.