YouParticipate: The Politics of YouTube’s Flagging System by Minke Kampman, Masters of Media, University of Amsterdam:
“My thesis is about a seemingly small detail of YouTube’s interface, the ‘flag’ button … By deconstructing the flagging system in how it relates to YouTube’s overall model of moderation, how it is presented by the company and how it is both experienced and used by the community, I am giving not only an overview of the politics that are at play within the flagging system. But it also forms the beginnings of the next step of the grassroots convergence that is taking place at YouTube, in which I disagree with Jenkins’ distinction between the concept of ‘participation’ and ‘interactivity’. According to Jenkins participation is shaped by cultural and social protocols, while interactivity is shaped by technological protocol. By showing the different ways in which the YouTube community has appropriated the flagging system, I show the possibilities that technological protocol entails for participation. By analyzing the various issues and demands from the YouTube community and proposing a reputation model in addition to some changes in the flagging system, which is based on existing systems that experience the same type of issues.” The whole thesis can be read online or you can download the .pdf.