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YouTube CEO: “My Number One Responsibility Is Keeping Our Ecosystem Of Creators, Viewers…Partners, Safe”

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, join Reclaim The Net.

During an interview with CBS Mornings, YouTube CEO Neal Mohan framed the platform as a place where all creators can be heard before discussing how it censors in the name of “safety” and stacks the deck in favor of legacy media outlets.

Mohan watched YouTube’s famous first upload, “Me at the zoo,” before remarking, “It reminds me of where YouTube came from.”

The YouTube CEO continued by saying, “In some senses, we’re exactly the same as where that video started. We are a place where our objective, our mission, is to give everyone a voice and show them the world.”

However, when CBS Morning’s host Tony Dokoupil commented that “there are some people in this world you would not love to have a bigger voice,” Mohan admitted that the platform isn’t the free speech panacea he initially presented.

“My number one responsibility is keeping our ecosystem of creators, viewers, all of our partners safe on YouTube, and I put that above anything else that we do,” Mohan said.

He added that this focus on safety is “the North Star by which we govern all of our actions.”

The buzzwords “safe” and “safety” appear in many YouTube policies to justify the censorship of numerous types of speech.

For example, YouTube’s medical “misinformation” policy prohibits contradicting current health authority guidelines regarding the safety of approved vaccines and promoting treatments that health authorities haven’t recognized as safe.

But as was evident during the Covid pandemic, health authorities’ opinions on safety aren’t always consistent or accurate. In April 2021, then-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky said that CDC data suggested vaccinated people “do not carry the virus, don’t get sick.” Now, the CDC admits that the Covid vaccines aren’t 100% effective.

Since the definition of safety is constantly in flux, making this buzzword the crux of YouTube’s policies inevitably results in people being silenced for speech that’s deemed to be unsafe by authorities, even if it’s true.

Not only did Mohan acknowledge that creators would be censored in the name of keeping the platform safe but he also reiterated that so-called “authoritative sources” (legacy media outlets that YouTube arbitrarily designates as “authoritative”) will be boosted at the expense of independent creators.

Related: 15 Times YouTube Turned Its Back On Creators

“We raise up content from authoritative sources when users are looking for news information,” Mohan said.

This boosting doesn’t just give these powerful, well-resourced legacy media outlets an advantage that isn’t afforded to independent creators. It’s also another sign that YouTube is turning away from the independent creators that helped build the platform in favor of the legacy media outlets these creators compete with.

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