YouTube has made a significant change to the way that video translations can be crowdsourced after it found that participants were using the Community Contributions feature to troll and wage harassment campaigns.
Under the new rules, contributed translations — which can be furnished by fans across the globe — must be manually approved by creators in every instance before being published. The issue was most recently brought to light by a U.K.-based YouTube commentary creator named JT (350,000 subscribers), who was the victim of a harassment campaign in translated captions of videos from YouTube’s most-subscribed individual creator, PewDiePie. JT outlined the harassment in a video titled PewDiePie’s Translators Attacked Me. He became the target of trolls after making a video about this very issue, The Verge reports.
In his complaint to YouTube on Twitter, JT suggested that the video giant require creators to manually approve translations, The Verge reports. And on Labor Day, he posted a video titled We Just Changed YouTube Forever, cheering the fact that the video giant appeared to have taken his suggestion on board.
“Based on the feedback we’ve heard, we are introducing some changes to Community Contributions,” the video giant Tweeted last Friday. “Moving forward, creators that have turned on this feature will need to manually review their Community Contributions and check for spam before publishing.”
Previously, trolls could sneak abusive translations onto channels that didn’t require approval. Creators did formerly have the option to disable community contributions for videos or groups of videos, but most saw a decisive upside in leaving the feature open: to make their content more internationally accessible, per The Verge. That said, YouTube has urged creators to review contributions as far back as a Creator Academy post from 2017.