Since almost the very beginning of the Hampstead SRA hoax, a major problem has been the massive proliferation of Hoaxtead-related videos on YouTube. Volunteers have devoted hundreds of hours to the thankless task of reporting videos that violate Mrs Justice Pauffley’s original court order, and YouTube’s terms of service. But while many videos have been removed, they seem to pop back up just as quickly.
That’s why we were conditionally glad to hear that YouTube is launching a new scheme which will offer points and rewards to users who report videos and comments they believe violate community guidelines.
Superficially, the ‘YouTube Heroes’ programme seems to signal a change in the Google-owned video platform’s approach to policing illegal and/or abusive videos and comments:
While YouTube already allows users to report abusive or offensive videos and comments, the new scheme will let them earn rewards for reporting others.
Rewards include access to a “heroes dashboard”, workshops, and video chats. Users will also have access to “Supertools” which will allow them to flag numerous videos in one go.
While we think the YouTube Heroes scheme might potentially be a baby step in the right direction for those of us who have been battling Hoaxtead, we cannot wholeheartedly endorse the programme, for a couple of reasons.
Become the unpaid Google employee you always dreamed of being…
First, we know full well that Google and YouTube have the capacity to identify and delete illegal videos, as they have done this in the past.
It ought to be a rather simple matter for a developer to put together a sorting programme based on keywords; what the social media giant appears to lack is the will to continue sorting, flagging, and deleting videos that name RD or his children, or the children and families Ella and Sabine named as being “in the cult”.
And second, while the new YouTube Heroes scheme offers to reward users who participate, in effect they are engaging their own users in unpaid labour, and giving us the task of tracking down, identifying, and reporting illegal, harassing videos…which YouTube ought to be able to eradicate with no help from us.
Ultimately, it seems to us that the YouTube Heroes programme could help us do something we already do, only a little bit more efficiently.
But more important, it helps YouTube continue to evade its duty to keep its corner of the internet free of Hoaxtead’s filth.