This new program has received backlash from popular content creators with valid reasons. Joe Vargas, popularly known as AngryJoe, believes that this new system will cause confusion across the platform, as giving normal people the ability to flag inappropriate videos is naïve and unfair, as what one channel views as normal can be considered offensive by another channel. Youtube channel The Know, known for technology, gaming and pop culture news, reiterated the views of many other content creators that Youtube Heroes gives “internet trolls” the power to potentially ruin popular channels, and even rewards them for doing it. The Know also likened users under the program to Youtube hall monitors, as they believe that Youtube has given up policing its own website and has shifted responsibility onto normal users.
This is not the first time Youtube has come under fire for alienating its popular content creators. Felix Kjellberg, better known as PewDiePie, the most subscribed person on Youtube, has publicly voiced his frustration with Youtube’s comments system as early as August 2014 and as late as July 2016, saying that the comments section is unmonitored and filled with spam, hate speech and other unwanted content. In late 2013, a number of videos belonging to popular content creators were flagged for copyright issues, which meant the money those videos would have made due to ad revenue would no longer go to the creators, but the companies that flagged these videos. This left many content creators angry and upset that they weren’t forewarned about this new change to Youtube’s fair use policy.
Illustration: Kago Kola.