The FCC mandated that by the end of September, all online video sites would be required to provide closed captions. YouTube is responding in kind, asking users to blow the whistle on publishers who haven’t followed the rule.
YouTube has even made whistle-blowing simple with a special online form that users can fill out and submit when they find a video they think should be required by law to contain closed captions (but doesn’t). The submitted complaint will be sent to the publisher, and YouTube will then forward the publisher’s answer back to you.
YouTube is aware of the potential for fraudulent reports, warning that “Abuse of this webform may result in termination of your YouTube account.” Furthermore, users submitting links through the form need to check off a box and electronically sign the form, agreeing that “I believe in good faith that the video(s) and information listed above are required by law to contain captions.”
What do you think of YouTube’s efforts to comply with the closed caption law? Is turning over responsibility to YouTube users the best way to fulfill the requirements of the law? Does it open up the door to internet censorship in any way? Sound off!