Petítion to Adress Unfair Practices in Distributing Translation

Petition to Address Unfair Practices in Distributing Translation Projects

We, the undersigned Hungarian-language contributors to Rakuten Viki, hereby submit this petition to protest against the antidemocratic practices observed in the distribution of translation projects within our community. We believe that the current system has been hijacked by a select group of individuals who wield undue influence over project allocation, resulting in unfair treatment and a lack of transparency.


It has become evident that a single individual, seemingly with influential connections within the platform’s leadership, has monopolized the distribution of translation projects. This individual, along with a select group of insiders from other language translator communities, has established an inner circle, effectively controlling who receives translation projects. These individuals have openly admitted, as evidenced by attached screenshots from public forums, that project allocation is based on personal friendships rather than merit or proficiency.

Issues at Hand:

  1. Undue Influence: The current system has transformed the platform’s subtitler community into a closed shop, where only those favored by the inner circle receive projects.
  2. Lack of Transparency: The recently established NSSA Subbing Division - Hungarian Subtitling Academy is emblematic of the lack of transparency in the selection process. The chosen moderators are directly involved in the issues we’re protesting against, creating a conflict of interest. Additionally, the individual responsible for collecting feedback is implicated in the same problems. This lack of transparency undermines the credibility of the academy and exacerbates existing issues within our community. Many of us refuse to provide feedback under these circumstances.

Our Suggestions:

If not specifically these, we expect similar measures from Rakuten Viki to remedy the current situation.

  1. Limitation on Channel Manager Tenure: No individual should serve as a Channel Manager more than three times per calendar year to prevent the consolidation of power.
  2. Transparency in Selection: Eligibility criteria should be established for selecting individuals to be CMs and NSSA moderators. Selection should be made by a committee of at least three individuals chosen by lottery from the Viki community to ensure fairness and impartiality. The lottery process should be transparent, and there should be a public record of who served on which committee to maintain accountability and transparency. Additionally, there should be a rotation of individuals to ensure diversity and prevent monopolization of positions. Once an individual is chosen, they should be removed from subsequent lotteries to give others an opportunity.
  3. Language Proficiency Requirement: Translators must demonstrate consistent proficiency in both English and the target language to ensure the quality of translations.
  4. Penalties for Machine Translation Usage: Individuals found guilty of using machine translation (MT) should face suspensions. After three warnings, they should be barred from participating in projects for at least one year. An anonymous reporting system should be implemented to identify MT offenders. Editors collaborating with MT offenders should also face the same penalties as they are either in cahoots with the offender(s) or simply do not do their jobs.
  5. Enforcement of Application Deadlines: A strict deadline should be enforced for project applications to ensure fairness. All applications received by the deadline should be considered, and teams should not be formed immediately after project announcements. Currently, CMs often choose the first applicant and do not allow time for others. Or it is not even possible to apply because the position of the Hungarian moderator is locked on the project page with no moderator name indicated - obviously, they reserve it for their friends until they have a free moderator slot. For example, there were several series for which it was not possible to apply as a Hungarian moderator because the CM closed it simultaneously with the project being released.


We, the undersigned, emphasize that our primary concern is the quality of subtitles. We are committed to delivering accurate and culturally sensitive translations, which require adequate time and attention to detail. Unfortunately, the reward system at Rakuten Viki is skewed to prioritize speed, creating a significant temptation for some individuals to resort to machine translation. This undermines our ability to collaborate effectively and compromises the quality of our work. We refuse to sacrifice the quality of our translations to meet unrealistic deadlines.

We understand that our suggestions will face significant resistance from those who currently hold privileged positions and do not wish to see this system disrupted. However, this is not fair. We appreciate if someone wants to work with their friends all the time, but then they must understand that they can only do this in a limited number of projects each year. Others will receive the rest of the projects; they cannot have everything for themselves.

We demand that Rakuten Viki address these concerns and take immediate action to rectify the unfair practices plaguing our community. We seek transparency, fairness, and accountability in the distribution of translation projects as well as equal opportunity for all. Failure to address these issues will compel us to undertake collective action, including a strike, until our concerns are adequately addressed.

We invite members from both the Hungarian and wider subtitling community to join our petition by liking this post. While we have highlighted specific problems within the Hungarian community, we believe that these issues are reflective of broader concerns among subtitlers at Viki.

Screenshot 1:
This screenshot captures a post by Person A on a public forum, where they openly discuss the practice of bias and favoritism in project allocation.
Screenshot 2:
The context of this screenshot: A community member questioned the practice of reserving Other Language (OL) moderator positions for the Channel Manager’s preferred individual, thus denying opportunities for other applicants. The screenshot shows the response of Person B, admitting that the slot has been reserved for them (translated from Hungarian): “The CM announced that the Hungarian moderator position is not available. Therefore, the candidate has been chosen. As a CM, you decide who you want or like to work with. We have worked on many projects together with Person B. If I receive a series, they are the first person I ask and vice versa.” It is important to note that this contradicts Viki’s official communication to applicants, which emphasizes criteria such as previous management or moderation experience rather than selection based on “personal preference”.



I would like to “sign” your petition, as it indeed reflects many issues surrounding Viki’s repetitive choice of a CM from a limited pool of volunteers, which easily turns into nepotism.

But you shouldn’t edit your post any further (4 edits as of 09.03.2024, 21:35 CET). Any amendments/ corrections can be added as separate posts.


Sorry, I’ve been up for 20 hours and it’s been a bit difficult, so I’ve been editing more than once. If you indicate your intention here, that’s enough and a heart to say you agree, thx


@mizuki_aikawa_sama @bozoli
Thank you for your bravery in stepping forward to point out problems in the Hungarian and other language communities.
I especially applaud speaking out again about the lack of widespread distribution of Channel Manager positions. I too have seen some people be serially appointed to CM positions even on projects for which they have not developed any expertise. For example, someone who has worked mostly on C-dramas is given a series of K drama projects or vice versa. Within days after one drama is completed, the person is given another drama in the same or different genre. The genres are very different and may require choosing moderators with a lot of experience in the genre but the same team seems to appear on both channels.
viki has never enunciated the critera for choosing channel managers except they are supposed to be Gold QC. Among the thousands of gold QC available, why are some chosen more than once a year and some never or rarely chosen?
Are certain criteria more important to viki than others – like considering viki preferences for skipping English or Portuguese editing to speed up release of subtitles in Portuguese? Perhaps viki should just use a lottery and after eliminating anyone who has been a CM at least once in the past 12 months, just draw the name of one of the gold QC applicants. That would be fair and spread the experience around.
When viki first started choosing channel managers, they usually chose whomever wrote first to the staff asking for a drama or movie. Now viki chooses among the applicants. I usually apply for K-drama and I don’t apply for every K-drama but by the time I apply, there are usually at least 100 applicants. The same pool of people all don’t apply for the same genres, so there are far more than 100 applicants for channel manager positions. Among 100 applicants, how is possible that the same person(s) are chosen 2 or more times per year, when one considers K-, C- and J- dramas?


What is going on recently? It seems like a ton of people are dissatisfied with how the communities work

That seems really serious

I could agree with that, just maybe add a distintion between dramas or movies? Getting 3 movies as a CM and getting 3 dramas (30 episodes each) are different. Also it’s neccessary to first implement filtering out abusers (gt), so that this system doesn’t help them.

Wouldn’t it be better to just chose a CM by lottery? I’m afraid that chosing by committee rewards being social, having connections etc. It would punish people who do a good job, but are more quiet and unnoticed. People who break rules (example: google translate) could be taken out of the lottery.

Generally we have a system for it, just Viki does not do anything about the reports. Sadly.

This screenshot doesn’t seem that bad to me. I believe there are valid reasons to prefer someone over someone else. Example: I prefer someone who finishes all their projects over someone who has an unfinished project from years ago. I prefer a subber who translates good over someone who rushes and doesn’t even check for typos. Things like that.

This doesn’t seem okay to me.

For the things I didn’t respond to: I mainly agree with them


Responding to your point about Screenshot 1. Preferring people who do quality work over people doing sloppy work is completely understandable. That’s an objective criterion. Even preferring to work with your friends is not hugely problematic UNTIL you start to get the majority of projects, not just as a CM, but an editor here, a moderator there, and suddenly you seem to have a finger in every pie, and have a lot of say in who gets what opportunity. Then I think it has turned unfair. The petition says: “We appreciate if someone wants to work with their friends all the time, but then they must understand that they can only do this in a limited number of projects each year. Others will receive the rest of the projects; they cannot have everything for themselves.”


As for the application for projects, I applied for several ones but got none in the last four weeks. I had no unfinished projects and had 5 empty places for new ones. I don’t even bother to apply for new releases for they’re already given or promised to the “chosen ones”. I have to settle for less known films or dramas that these people don’t fancy for being too long or rated low. I have no choice but accept the fact that all the new ones are always taken, way before anyone had an opportunity to go for them. I am not given any chance to prove my abilites and get experience. It’s rather frustrating and absolutely unfair. How can a new subtitler get any chance if such favouritism exists? This cannot go on like this.


I don’t have any new project since August 2023 and other people from my community got to moderate 3 on air dramas at the same time.


I thought in the Polish community we don’t have this problem :0 There aren’t too many of us here
Maybe I’m just hunting for the less popular dramas?

On the rare occasions when I was a channel manager for an on-air K drama, I was informed by members of a variety of “other language” communities about different groups within the respective community, ranging from parallel groups without any expressed animosity to others to fervid enemy level groups. So the fact that mizuki expresses concern about dissension within the Hungarian community is neither distressing nor new to me.
I note that her post has been flagged and I am guessing it is because she is quoting someone else’s comment from another discussion site. I don’t think viki has flagged her post because she dares to point out that the emperor has no clothes on (criticizing the selection of channel manager and moderator process), but rather viki selectively prohibits “ad hominem” posts on this forum which attack a specific person rather than their opinion. Having read her post before it was flagged, I did not see her identify anyone specifically in the Hungarian community. But I have seen viki justify flagging by saying that they prohibit ad hominem posts or by prohibiting specific mention of other sites.
The flagging reminds me of the many times I would try to post a note to a specific subber or segmenter in team discussion or would mention the word subtitle or segment and my post would be “moderated and disappear” so I just stopped using TD to communicate with other members of the community working on the channel. Because the reason for “flagging” or “moderation” is never given, the perpetrator never learns what she did wrong so is likely to repeat the error. Can we have some transparency here and be provided a hint as to the reason for the flagging? Or will this thread be closed by viki without any cogent reason being given?


It was reinstated, the staff reviewed it and did not find it offensive


Hooray for the reinstatement of the original post!


In Team Discussion and Comments section on flagging is automatic based on a few keywords and withholds the entire comment for moderation before it is published. Those two comments sections are hosted by another application, Disqus.

However, on Discussions the only automatic filter is one for individual words which turn letters into squares (such as this: ■■■■■■■). Flagging of the entire post is done only by other members and after the post has already been published.


My hope is that “up there” they will see that something is very wrong with the current system. Last year there was a person who was CM 10-15 times ( I am not exaggerating ) , these projects were allocated through friendship. How can you supervise that many projects decently and at the same time sign up 2-3000 lines a day in the language you understand?
There was a concrete example, a series was published, got CM, and the Hungarians couldn’t sign up as moderators because they were blocked from signing up. On the series’ profile page it was indicated that the Hungarian moderator position was taken, but no name was attached. When we applied, we were told we already had a moderator for the series. There was no chance for anyone. Because it was reserved for someone else. What is the point of the 5 moderator rule then? Where is the equality of chance? And then should we not feel that there is corruption on Viki?


I only hope that there will be equality of Viki in the Hungarian community again, and that everyone will be able to develop and prove themselves. Everyone deserves at least 1 opportunity.


I’m glad @mizuki_aikawa_sama stepped forward and is voicing what has been a very unfair control tactic of OL here at RVIKI (since 2013 for me), and although I know NOTHING will be done to stop this unfair situation; I’m glad someone made it public here at DISCUSSION. I wish you the best of luck.


you can add your name here


I hope this cooperation will be successful and all Hungarian translators on the viki will have the same chance.


I am Italian. I did not vote for the petition because it seems excessively restrictive, but the complaint is sacrosanct. Assigning one person three projects a year means having to provide hundreds of CMs, but I am not sure there are hundreds of contributors competent enough in all of Viki to fulfill the role of CM. If the CM does not know how to manage the entire team, this will cause a cascade of problems for all communities. I think an assignment as CM every thirty days is acceptable.

I also think that combining the problem of CM with the problem of the use of translators and deadlines in a single petition can only lead to the petition being thrown away. In any case, the most serious problem of all those presented is the blocking of the assignment of moderation. There should be a 24-hour deadline for the moderation assignment, finding a way to make up for both the CM’s inactivity and the lack of requests, for example with an automatic assignment (which the assignee can refuse, of course).

Basically it would be necessary to transfer the assignment to an algorithm, after 24 hours, but this requires an investment of money by Viki. Honestly, I don’t even understand why there isn’t the possibility to apply to be a moderator in the project finder.



Let’s say we have 20 dramas debuting every month (we’re being generous with that). 20x12=240
On the screenshots you can see, that 107 people wanted to be a CM for a certain drama. 107x3=312

We have the means (enough manpower) to achieve what was proposed by the petition.
There might be a lack of applicants for less popular shows with limited slots for being a CM, but there are still people, who enjoy such shows.

How do you define “competent”? Do you think every CM appointed now is competent? We don’t know, what Viki thinks, when they appoint someone.

So once a month? 12x107=1284
That’s quite a lot, considering the estimated 240 dramas. That wouldn’t fix the problem of the same people getting the majority of CM positions.

If anyone has some better estimations about the number of CMs and dramas, feel free to correct me.

I don’t quite understand. I might misinterpret your words, so it would be great, if you could specify some more.
Do you think CMs should make a decision before 24h since the time they got appointed?

I think that’s not a good idea.
Ideally the CM gets appointed at least a week before the drama airs. They get a few days to read every application, to look through the history of contributions, to contact other members of the community if needed etc.
I sometimes see people I deleted from my team for google-translating in moderator positions.
The CM should have checked those people history, but they didn’t do so. To me that is being a bad CM.
Algorithm as a CM sounds like a nightmare.

I think it should be a possibility.