YouTube Changes YouTube Heroes Video Stealthily

Published: September 23, 2016 1:38 PM /


YouTube Heroes Header

One of the most frustrating things as a YouTube creator can be needing a small change in a video, and having to go through an entire encoding process to remake a change. Then you have to upload the video again, re put in all the tags, and basically "replace" the video that you need to, and either unlisting the original video, or deleting it entirely. And while that's a bit annoying, that does serve a purpose: that the majority of the audience who have viewed the video have viewed the "same" video.  Sure, you can make edits via the trim and blur tool for example, but you can't just completely tear out a section of the video, and replace it with something else.

At least for most users.

A new feature has been seemingly seen thanks to the recent controversy surrounding the new YouTube Heroes program. Major issues with the program aside, one of the most interesting parts of the controversy is an update made to the video, even after the video had eclipsed the 200k dislike mark. Specifically, there were two changes. First of all, the original video (which can be seen thanks to a satire portion done by YouTuber Tormental), indicated that at the :22 mark, the slide read: "Report negative content". However, if you look at the video now, the phrase has been replaced with "Report Inappropriate videos accurately".

Now, while the newer video is a lot more clear and specific about what the YouTube "hero" can report, the major issue here lies with the lack of transparency from YouTube about the change of the video. This change was made despite the fact that the view count, like/dislike ratio, and related information on the video never changed. There's no indication that the video was altered in any way, and considering the history of Youtube and the tools that normal creators have, there's no reason to think that this video wasn't the original one. However, the original viewers of the video will have a different experience than someone new viewing the video. 

The original Slide shown 22 seconds into the video.
The original Slide shown 22 seconds into the video.
The newly updated slide at :22 seconds in.
The newly updated slide at :22 seconds in.

This isn't the only change either. At :58 seconds into the original video, the slide indicated that those at level 3 of the Heroes program would be able to moderate community content. This caused a huge backlash, considering that Youtubers can't even get their own moderators the tools in order to moderate their community in an efficient fashion. Well, the new video clarifies that the moderation of content comes within the YouTube Heroes community. 

The original slide shown at :58 of the Youtube Heroes Video.
The original slide shown at :58 of the Youtube Heroes Video. With the exception of  the Harambe phrase.
The updated slide at :58 for the Youtube Heroes video.
The updated slide at :58 for the Youtube Heroes video.

What should also be noted is that YouTube creators have been asking for more tools to be able to edit videos on the fly for a while now... and it seems like YouTube has the capability to make these types of changes to a video without losing all the views/likes/etc that has been done up to this point. Now granted, it should be indicating WHAT had changed, especially in the cases of news/information videos. However, YouTube seemingly is not ready to give this power to its creators yet.

Which isn't surprising. Considering that as YouTube grows, creators seem to be less empowered by the day. But the entire community seems to not like this new program, as the video has hit over one million views, with over 400k dislikes. That's about a third of the people hitting the dislike button who have viewed the video. If you know anything about the standard rate of like/dislike of videos, you know that percentage is well beyond the normal engagement ratio, meaning that people are really... REALLY disliking the changes. Although that may also have to do with the fact that you can't comment on the original video. as well.

It's just another example of YouTube not putting out its own fires. In fact, it's creating whole new ones. 

Quick Take

YouTube Heroes is another problem that YouTube has pushed onto its creators, without thinking of the issues that it could end up causing. There's a lot of things wrong with the program at a base level: but this new revelation with the ability to edit without indicating any changes to anyone (beyond the trim/blur/etc features) is a game changer, because now it opens up a whole ton of questions about videos and their original content, and what might have been changed after the fact. It seems to be that YouTube has no idea what it's doing with its own platform. But that isn't anything new for the platform. 

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