Viki's Channel Manager Progression Rules Are Unfair

I sent this to fsl_viki, the staff person responsible for determining qualification to be a channel manager via the viki inbox on April 12, 2024. I have patiently waited for more than two weeks for the courtesy of a reply but have received nothing! This is what I wrote:
"The new guideline on channel manager progression requires that in order to be selected as a channel manage of an on-air Korean drama, the applicant “Has managed at least three (3) on-air drama channels within the last 3 years.” This is a terribly unfair requirement because the applicant has no control over becoming a manager of an on-air drama.
I have been an active volunteer at viki since 2009. I joined when it was and actually donated money in my own name and to honor someone who sponsored me as a volunteer. Since then, I have won numerous awards, including person who recommended the most people for QC positions, one of three viki-ans invited to the world premier of viki’s production Dramaworld in Los Angeles, Featured QC and Featured QC nominator. I have been designated one of the viki volunteers to be interviewed by the press more than once. I have actively participated in every single subathon at viki and have accumulated over 105 badges.
Despite all the accolades, I have not been chosen for an on-air K drama in years! Here is my last three appointment of an on-air drama:

  1. Devil Judge 2021
  2. Tower of Babel 2019
  3. The Last Empress 2018

In 2021, I was asked by viki staff to take over the management of Melancholia, for which I was Chief Editor, when Irmar, the manager, was hospitalized for several months with covid.

As you can see, even if you count Melancholia, I do not meet the minimum requirement for appointment as manager of an on-air K drama.

Can you imagine how disenheartening it if for me, a viki denominated “old-timer” (I have a badge to prove it), to see the repeated serial appointment of relative newbies to K drama when these newbies have never worked as hard as I have on K dramas?

I have studied the Korean Language and Linguistics since 2009.
I don’t apply for manager positions for Chinese, Japanese, or Thai dramas because I feel I would be doing a disservice to the viewers because I am not deeply entrenched in the culture. If someone makes a mistake in the subtitle, I am afraid I would not recognize the mistake. ( I have actually published scholarly articles on Japanse American acculturation, but that was my history long ago as a former academician, so I may be way more qualified to manage an on-air Japanese drama than some newbie with only 30,000 subs! }
Please discuss this issue with the staff. All other qualifications you list are within the applicant’s control and are relevant to the appointment, but the requirement to have been a channel manager three times in the past year of anything is clearly beyond the applicant’s control.

Yes, I have been appointed channel manager very frequently, but the majority of those appointments have been on old dramas, and for most of them, I was a very active subber, segmenter, and/or chief editor when the drama was on air, and I volunteered for the position when the original manager was no longer active. For those channels, I serve as a facilitator for volunteers who wish to sub the drama in a language new to the drama or as a place to complain to when something is technicaly wrong with the subs.

On on-air drama appointments, I never failed to have the English subbing completed fairly promptly.
One of the criteria for channel manager selection is

  • An applicant should not have another ongoing, incomplete, or immediately upcoming project.*
    I have had one managership for a channel which was given to NSSA for segmenting training so obviously the subtitling in any language is not complete and never will be as long as it is used for segmenting practice. With respect to that channel, about two years ago, one of the current viki community relations staff actually flagged me for abusive subbing and wrote a scolding note to me about NOT using the video for segmenting practice. When I informed her that this was a NSSA training channel, she NEVER apologized for her rudeness and error in flagging me, but in reply asked ME to identify all the channels used for training by NSSA!!! (Why did she expect ME to know when she is in the department which set aside the channels?) If I have not been selected as a channel manager because of the training channel counts as an “ongoing project”, then shame on the viki staff for not recognizing that this channel was designated as a training channel by viki staff. My only function there is to occasionally name moderators (other mentors in NSSA) and to delete all segments in the videos every four to six months so the videos can be used to train another round of students.

If I engage in post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, is the failure to appoint me as channel manager an unsubtle means of retaliation for my not meekly apologizing for “abusive subtitling” on the training channel.
I did some research on recent appointments to channel manager on Kdramas and C dramas. On the very first (and thus only) person I researched, the contributor was then a little short of four years at viki and had been appointed channel manager of twenty-nine (27) C-dramas and two (2) K-dramas in three years! Obviously the preferential treatment of this one person deprived 28 other more experienced, longer tenured viki contributors the opportunity to be a channel manager. In my 15 years at viki, I have never had the privilege of simultaneous or immediately contiguous appointments as channel manager, so that within a very short time gap after one drama ended, I was appointed to another drama.
I would appreciate comments from others regarding your own tenure and experience in applying for the position of channel manager as well as your opinion about the policy which will go into effect in May, 2024.


I’m in a worse situation than yours, I’ve been on the viki since 2011 and since 2011 I’ve been running for manager and I’ve never been elected, I’ve worked as a translator, editor, moderator, I even became a segmenter just to show the viki that they can count on me . But lately I’ve slowed down.
I read somewhere that a QC can be a manager, I’m a gold QC and again nothing, even this year I didn’t even get a message for the annual gift for 2023. :thinking:


That’s so UNFAIR and terrible thing to do to a dedicated volunteer for so many years here at viki.


The change of Viki staff two years ago meant no more channels for most of us and an excessive amount of channels for a small group of staff favorites. After a lot of fruitless protests from our side, Viki finally gave a reaction but, like most of the times when Viki gives a reaction to our protests, they made things even worse. With the new rules, the favorites will keep on getting all the channels while our chances have decreased tremendously because of the unfair selection process of the past 2 years.
I may not have been on Viki from the very beginning, but I’ve been here long enough and seen Viki from enough different angles to know my way around. For the past years, there hardly ever was a day that I wasn’t on Viki. I’ve been working as OL subber/editor/moderator, English GE and CE, segmenter, CS, and, in the good old days, CM. Especially as CE, I have guided newbie CMs and done some of their work for them, just like Viki now wants official co-CMs to do. I have made documents about how to cut parts and sent them to newbie CMs. I have recruited team members for them when they had trouble doing it themselves and explained anything they needed to know. I know how things work on Viki.
Yet in the past 2 years, all I got was 1 Chinese movie and not because I hadn’t applied for anything else. Sure, I was happy to get at least something, but it wasn’t much compared to what the serial CMs got, and so far, I didn’t get anything else. And now we have new rules that tell us our experience expires in 3 years.
And what exactly makes the serial CMs so great that they’ve been threated like this for so long? Are they better than me? No. The only difference is that they rush through every channel they get because they know that there is always another channel waiting on the other side. And that appeals to Viki cause speed is everything. The viewers, at least the ones who complain the most, don’t notice bad subtitles; they notice the lack of subtitles. That’s why we got English presubs, that’s why we got Portuguese and other OL presubs, that’s why they at some point even forbade us to combine segments, why they are now even forbidding us to create new segments (oh, no, the show is now less than 100% subtitled! :sos: ) or tell us to fill up the segments with nonsense, and that’s why most shows are nowadays released to OL right after QC. All this rushing ensures more channels for the lucky few and allegedly satisfied viewers for Viki.
As for me, I have all the qualities Viki doesn’t appreciate. I go out of my way to make sure that good work is being delivered and I threat my team in a humane way. I don’t rest until the show is done, but I don’t rush people at all cost. To me, the quality of the result and the atmosphere in the team are more important. Also, some roles are so rare that me threatening to replace them if they don’t do as I tell them right now would just leave my team without that role and the show not progressing any further as a result.
What makes things worse for me is that the only way Viki ever checks our progress is through TD. I don’t have access there so I use other means to communicate with my team so if Viki uses TD to judge me, then I make no chance at all.
Also, anyone who doesn’t like you can find some excuse to complain about you to the staff behind your back and decrease your chances even further.
So after all the time, energy, and passion I have put into Viki, I now feel totally underappreciated. Over time, certain volunteers have made me feel that way, too, but now it is Viki itself. The company that I have been giving my all for all these years is completely and utterly blind to my worth and doesn’t appreciate my efforts one bit. My chances of ever becoming CM again seem to have been reduced to zero, in spite of all my overall experience and skills. At this point, I’m not sure anymore if Í should keep on wasting my time to fill the bank account of a company that threats its unpaid employers like this.


So, im not the only one thinking this? This have crossed my mind every time i see the same people been chosen as a CM, many of us apply for the same projects, yet the chosen one has just finished one project as a cm or am still on one.
And now, many who complain gets one show as in ‘now some have been dealt with, lets choose our faves again’. I feel this whole ordeal is unfair for hundreds of volunteers and a gain for a small amount of volunteers. :melting_face:


Once again, they proved they don’t know our community well enough to come up with proper guidelines regarding the channel management.
At this point, we ALL know people who have the skills to be great channel managers and/or have been CM a long time ago but don’t get anything since years because of the biased appointment system. The 3 years requirement is nonsense.

As for me, I’m lucky enough and have nothing to complain about my personal experience. At some point, I even felt a bit of guilt being chosen once a year when I see skilled contributors not being rewarded as they should and who are experiencing one disappointment after another. It is sickening! This new rule is so unfair towards dedicated contributors who already did so much for this website. Yes, there should have rules so inexperienced ones can learn how things work but it needs to be fair. Older active contributors who already managed channels successfully shouldn’t be treated as newcomers!
How come people who have proven themselves to be good managers should be begging the staff for a new opportunity to manage a channel…
What more do they need to do for the staff to recognize their value and to entrust them projects? Do we have to make some noise in the Discussion forum to expect being chosen as CM now? That’s crazy.
On a side note, it will always astonish me how some people think it’s legitimate for them to be chosen as CM while on the other hand they take forever to complete their task in other roles they are appointed to AND ask for new projects when the first ones are not finished yet.

I won’t ramble more on things already said many times in every possible way by our fellow contributors.
It won’t add anything new. I think they will try out their new rules and see if it works as they expect to.


When someone first pointed out this flaw in the new system, I read the rules several times to make sure I wasn’t missing something. But sure enough, the way it is currently written doesn’t make much sense and is unfair. I am torn on whether I think this was intentional or an accidental oversight on Viki’s behalf when they wrote the rules this way. Otherwise, this is no PROGRESSION. In order to get to level three or higher, you must already have been at a level three? That means newbies can only get to level two and no higher? What is progressive about that? Surely that’s not what they meant. Or is it?


These words speaks volume. It also answers your question if is time: ‘‘to let the curtain down’’

What does it mean to let the curtain down?

to cause or mark the end of an event or situation.

Reading through all the things you have done here (and also @cgwm808 ), and sensing the disappointment and pain through those written words; I realize that you Both need to love yourself enough not to allow anyone in this world, not to appreciate your worth.

After all, it will be their loss because in this life ungrateful people don’t learn the immensity of their loss…until they loose it themselves. In your eyes, all your volunteer work was a work of love, but in BUSINESS like settings all they care is about money gain, and we can’t blame them in a way because that’s how they can survive and keep a business afloat.

BUT I also know they could have work things out, and be fair to the great workers/volunteers; if only they had tried to do so. It’s your decision and Good Luck with whatever you both decide.



What you are experiencing is Enshittification (Cory Doctorow). Here’s the relevant wikipedia article: Enshittification - Wikipedia
A quote from Doctorow, taken from the Wikipedia article:

“Here is how platforms die: first, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die.”

Ed Zitron has a similar concept, he calls it “the Rot Economy”: (The Rot Economy - Ed Zitron's Where's Your Ed At)

Public and private investors, along with the markets themselves, have become entirely decoupled from the concept of what “good” business truly is, focusing on one metric — one truly noxious metric — over all else: growth.
“Growth” in this case is not necessarily about being “bigger” or “better,” it is simply “more.” It means that the company is generating more revenue, higher valuations, gaining more market share, and then finding more ways to generate these things.

Rakuten Viki is not exempt from this development, as much as we might wish it were different.
The question is: Are you able to fight the venture capital with all its ugly mechanisms?


I never knew that part. Thanks for sharing this with us.


In the end I just wonder what people at Viki made this rule without looking at the whole history of contribution… It’s like one size doesn’t fil all… I’m also astonished about this rule and I feel for you all who are speechless at what’s happening… and are overseen, while others get a bunch… :cry: :open_mouth: :astonished:


“dying” for Platforms has been a very long process – I don’t know if you remember MySpace or LiveJournal? Twitter / X is in its death throes, and it too will be around for a while, I presume.
So, it’s not that any platform (or Viki) will suddenly not be there, it’s a gradual decline.



I don’t think it is intentional, but it shows they don’t know the Viki community very well.


It’s 1,000 and 1 million percent intentional. The Viki community has been around for too long not to know this community well enough, front and back.


The Viki staff has changed over the years. I don’t think the latest recruits are familiar with everything in Viki.


What is it about, what will happen in May 2024?

1 Like

In the April update, viki staff announced new articles about channel manager selection. One of the articles was on how one “progresses” to being selected as a channel manager.
The new rules go into effect on May 1, 2024.


After many of us pointed out that it was a vicious circle and there was a mistake, they didn’t amend them at all?
So weird!

For instance I don’t qualify at all. I had 4 drama CM positions in the last 5 years, of which the last one could be considered “library”, since it was already finished when it came to Viki, and they uploaded all episodes at once. (Moreover, it is a Japanese show, so it would anyway lower my chances for Korean projects.)

The requirements:

CM of Korean on-air dramas
Has managed at least three (3) on-air drama channels within the last 3 years. This may include JP and TH on-air titles, however preference is for those who have managed CN or KR on-air titles.


  • I’ll Go to You When the Weather is Nice 2020 (Feb.- Apr.)
  • Bossam - Steal the Fate 2021 (May-June)
  • Melancholia 2021 (November)
  • Eye Love You 2024 (April-May) Japanese, not on-air

So if you don’t consider the last one, we only have one in 2020 and two in 2021. Nothing in 2022, 2023 and 2024.
No chance, then!


It’s sad that this Viki’s Channel Manager Progression Rules may seem unfair to many of us, but it makes so much sense now since we have PAID SUBBERS working diligently for Rakuten Viki. If this Company was so dissatisfied with the paid subber’s performance; the rules would have never change in the first place. Rules are made to keep a certain order. Who doesn’t know that?

I don’t think they want to be cruel to the many Oldies and long time viki’s volunteers (since I see they are still doing some kind of volunteer work here) just not as much as they did in the past or would love to be doing here as volunteers. Paying people to do work here like subtitles at a speeding bullet is an investment this Company made because they are trying to keep their subscribers, and attract more subscribers without the need to be one more business venture forever gone like many others we know; are no longer around for us to see and enjoy.

There must be many strong and logical reasons why the CM position is going to be controlled to that extent, and as loyal Volunteers we all claim to be, we need to respect these new rules and abide to them, as UNFAIR as they may be seen to many of us. After all, volunteers don’t get paid a salary: What are the great losses so many volunteers seemed to be so sad about?

If anything… :smiley:

Volunteers will have more time to spend with their friends and their love ones. They’ll have more time to smell the flowers in the park. Take a walk by the beach. They’ll have more time to take a walk as they appreciate the fresh air flowing through their lungs. They’ll have more time to hug a friend, a family member, even a pet, and tell them how much we love them. These things are priceless, and can’t be bought with money.

Let’s give Rakuten Company the chance to strive, and not to die. That to me, would be the greater loss of all. To have the potential of losing our dear viki. has been a big wake up call for me, and it tells me that no matter how sad the situation may seem to me, to see viki die would really break my heart. Let’s keep our dear viki alive for many, many years to come.

Are you jumping right to the next step that is fully implementing AI and we are all dismissed (even paid subbers)? :rofl: :rofl: I say this world is small but vast at the same time, so we can all coexist ^^

Greetings! :hibiscus: