YouTube’s Susan Wojcicki: ‘Where’s the line of free speech – are you removing voices that should be heard?’
The day before we meet, the tech site Gizmodo publishes a piece on how extremist channels remain on YouTube, despite the new policies. In the face of fairly constant criticism, does Wojcicki ever feel like walking away? “No, I don’t. Because I feel a commitment to solving these challenges,” she says. “I care about the legacy that we leave and about how history will view this point in time. Here’s this new technology, we’ve enabled all these new voices. What did we do? Did we decide to shut it down and say only a small set of people will have their voice? Who will decide that, and how will it be decided? Or do we find a way to enable all these different voices and perspectives, but find a way to manage the abuse of it? I’m focused on making sure we can manage the challenges of having an open platform in a responsible way.”
My emphasis. Her job depends upon her denying that there is a difference between merely uploading a video (and it being lost in the millions of others) and deliberately recommending it to others. The YouTube recommendation algorithm is simply toxic. And, like polluters everywhere, they do it because it makes them money.