YouTube's new plan to deal with awful comments: Have commenters help moderate

YouTube
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

YouTube has a new plan to start turning around its famously bad comments: get the community involved in moderating them. It launched a new program this week called YouTube Heroes, which rewards people for reporting bad comments, writing accurate subtitles, and answering forum questions.

These so-called Heroes won't actually have direct power over the site. So it's not like someone will be able to go around removing comments at will or adding profane subtitles to others' videos. They can try — but actual YouTube employees are still the ones tasked with removing bad comments and approving good subtitles.

YouTube is probably hoping that, by getting the community involved, it'll receive more reports about bad comments, letting its actual moderation team get to them faster. Giving dedicated commenters some sense of responsibility could also help to change the community's overall tone. Or it could do nothing, like when YouTube forced people to use their real name.

Anyone can already report a bad comment, though. This program basically just adds some flair to the process.

More from The Verge:

Google Allo review: This is fine

macOS Sierra review: Apple reaches for the clouds

If you want the jet black iPhone, learn to love the scratches

There are different rewards people can get for becoming Heroes and making positive contributions. They include being invited to unspecified "exclusive workshops" and video chats and getting to test out prerelease YouTube products. A member would have to accurately report 1,000 bad comments before reaching the highest rewards tier.

YouTube has a sign-up page here to join the program. It sounds like anyone who's already in trouble for bad comments won't be invited in.