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Alphabet Announces YouTube Heroes Program

By Evan Niu, CFA – Sep 21, 2016 at 2:54PM

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Anything that improves YouTube comments is a good thing.

Image source: YouTube.

What happened?

Alphabet's (GOOG -1.24%) (GOOGL -1.02%) YouTube has just unveiled a new program designed to improve the quality of submitted content and comments, called YouTube Heroes. The new program invites users to become volunteers that help flag inappropriate content, add captions and subtitles to videos, and generally help contribute to the YouTube community.

In exchange, Heroes will earn points for various actions, unlocking different levels of rewards along the way. 

Does it matter?

YouTube is infamous for atrocious comments by anonymous users. This is the latest attempt by the search giant to improve one of its most popular sites. Google previously attempted to merge YouTube usernames with Google+ real names, with the hope that removing anonymity would help the problem by making people more accountable. The company backed down from that effort last year, since -- let's face it -- no one likes anything remotely related to Google+, the company's defunct social network.

Reddit has long relied on a large community of volunteer moderators to manage its countless subreddits, so perhaps Google is taking a page out of Reddit's playbook in trying to tap the community. The main difference is that YouTube employees will still be responsible for officially moderating content and removing inappropriate content; YouTube Heroes will just help strengthen the system to make their jobs easier. 

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Evan Niu, CFA has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares) and Alphabet (C shares). We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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