YouTube must leave some video & # 39; s that & # 39; controversial or even offensive & # 39; to remain an open platform, said YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki today.
In her quarterly letter to creators, Wojcicki commented on YouTube's ongoing struggle with troubling content and how to mitigate it, saying it would be worthwhile for the platform to allow videos where the company could does not agree. "A dedication to openness is not easy," wrote Wojcicki. She says that "hearing a wide range of perspectives ultimately makes us a stronger and better-informed society."
YouTube has long been struggling with controlling and limiting worrying videos, from conspiracy theories to stopping radicalization to limiting intimidation and bullying. YouTube was recently widely criticized for the way a conservative YouTube commentator repeatedly made homophobic comments about one Vox host. YouTube finally decided that the homophobic language was acceptable because it was framed as a comment and that the LGBTQ community's response to the platform and within the company was considerable. (Disclosure: Vox is a publication of Vox Media, which is also the owner The edge.)
Wojcicki says that problematic video & # 39; s & # 39; a fraction of one percent & # 39; content on YouTube, but they have a major impact on potential damage and trust. This has led people to believe that YouTube has no incentive to remove troublesome videos because they lead to more views. "This is simply not true," wrote Wojcicki. In reality, she says, the lack of trust damages YouTube's relationship with advertisers.
The blog post contains no changes to YouTube policies. Instead, Wojcicki outlined a new way for YouTube to formulate its existing set of goals to keep the platform a positive, healthy space. She calls them the four "R & # 39; s": quick removal of prohibited content, eliciting authoritative voices, reducing dissemination of problematic content and rewarding trusted creators. Together these are supposed to help YouTube gain confidence from creators and advertisers who are becoming more and more concerned about his actions (and sometimes inactivity).
To keep the site alive, YouTube must "find the right balance between openness and responsibility," concluded Wojcicki.
Concerns about YouTube moderation do not disappear quickly. YouTube is still developing and reviewing policies to prevent major problems – for example, the updated policy from maker to maker is still in the making – and bad actors will continue to push the boundaries of those rules. This quarter's letter shows that at least Wojcicki knows what the makers are up to, even if she has no changes to announce that they will soon make things better.