YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki tells Lesley Stahl what the video platform is doing about hate speech in an interview Sunday on the CBS newsmagazine program ’60 Minutes.’
Wojcicki told ’60 Minutes’ that Google employs 10,000 people to focus on “controversial content.” She described their schedule, which includes time for therapy. Stahl also said there are reports that the “monitors” are “beginning to buy the conspiracy theories.”
“What we really had to do was tighten our enforcement of that to make sure we were catching everything and we use a combination of people and machines,” Wojcicki explained. “So Google as a whole has about 10,000 people that are focused on controversial content.”
Wojcicki on Section 230, stopping 70% of controversial content:
Lesley Stahl: Once you watch one of these, YouTube’s algorithms might recommend you watch similar content. But no matter how harmful or untruthful, YouTube can’t be held liable for any content, due to a legal protection called Section 230.
The law under 230 does not hold you responsible for user-generated content. But in that you recommend things, sometimes 1,000 times, sometimes 5,000 times, shouldn’t you be held responsible for that material, because you recommend it?
Susan Wojcicki: Well, our systems wouldn’t work without recommending. And so if–
Lesley Stahl: I’m not saying don’t recommend. I’m just saying be responsible for when you recommend so many times.
Susan Wojcicki: If we were held liable for every single piece of content that we recommended, we would have to review it. That would mean there’d be a much smaller set of information that people would be finding. Much, much smaller.
Lesley Stahl: She told us that earlier this year, YouTube started re-programming its algorithms in the U.S. to recommend questionable videos much less and point users who search for that kind of material to authoritative sources, like news clips. With these changes Wojcicki says they have cut down the amount of time Americans watch controversial content by 70%.
I’m so old, I can remember that the whole purpose of YouTube seemed to be a place to find content too out there or controversial for conventional TV. When does Wojcicki draft YouTube’s version of the Fairness Doctrine or the Family Hour?
WEIRD HOW THEY SAY PEOPLE BROKE THEIR RULES, BUT NEVER GIVE ANY DETAILS AS TO HOW: Google And YouTube Take Down Trump Campaign Ads (But Can’t Explain Why).
ANDY NGO RESPONDS: TWITTER PUNISHES YOU FOR TELLING THE TRUTH. “I’m now back on Twitter, but only because I was forced to accept that on this platform, a journalist will be punished for telling the truth.”
Somebody should write a book about how social media tips the scale.