Starting in May, YouTube will not allow individuals in its controversial Trusted Flagger program, instead focusing “exclusively on key partnerships with a variety of NGOs and Government Agencies.”
The Trusted Flagger program began in 2012 as a communal volunteer effort to remove content that violates YouTube’s policies. It worked with NGO and government agencies as well as hand-picked individuals that were never publicly disclosed.
Those participating in the program have access to a variety of tools not available to ordinary users. For instance, they can flag multiple videos simultaneously, their reports are prioritized, and they get to understand how YouTube makes content removal decisions.
Last year, Tubefilter reported that individual flaggers had begun noticing a decline in their experience within the Trusted Flaggers program. Additionally, those who reached Google’s global director of information policy, government affairs, and public policy Derek Slater were reportedly told that the program would no longer be available to individuals.