Chilling words from YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, confirming that the world’s dominant video platform has come up with its own “system” to classify what’s news and what isn’t.
That’s editorial work done by a news publishing platform – but at the same time, the status of a publisher is something Google, the owner of YouTube, would like to avoid at all costs – along with any responsibility or liability that comes with it.
Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe tweeted a video of Wojcicki saying that the Google-owned YouTube has in place “a whole system” that is separating what she refers to as “trashy” from “authoritative” news.
And the way this is done is by employing “classifiers.”
“Who are these raters? Any transparency? Platform or publisher?,” O’Keefe asked in the tweet.
Pertinent and logical questions, to be sure.
In the video, Wojcicki is heard saying that YouTube is demoting “fake news” and promoting the “authoritative” kind. And then came the million-dollar question we are all asking: how exactly does YouTube do that?
“We have a whole system, we’re keeping up with trashy news where we have built classifiers, we identify it, we look for salacious, clickbait content that isn’t – that we don’t think is, you know, the authoritative news, it’s just kind of encouraging people to look at but is not true,” she says.
“We’re training, we’ve added these instructions to our readers, and we’ve updated our classifiers, and we are working to understand, identify that with machine learning, and then to push that (‘trashy news’) down.”
At the same time, Wojcicki revealed, “authoritative news from reputable sources” is being given an artificial leg-up on the platform, promoted at the time in the US, France, and the UK – and “coming to more countries soon.”
And how are “reputable news sources” defined? Wojcicki reveals that Google’s YouTube is “working” with none other than – Google News on that.
Other than painting YouTube as effectively a publisher instead of merely a platform hosting content (which affords it many protections under US law) – these statements also confirm what Google insiders and whistleblowers such as Zach Vorhies have been saying lately – namely, that Google and its properties are using artificial intelligence-powered machine learning algorithms to judge what’s right and wrong.
The result is a powerful platform with massive sway and influence over public opinion.
Google insiders have consistently mentioned this impartiality occurring in one form or another.
AI-powered classifying of what’s allowed and what isn’t on YouTube was revealed in May by one insider – and the blacklist mentioned there also revealed that technology itself is flawed, because it failed to identify what the humans who programmed it were after, namely, “right-wing news commentators” – catching some liberals and left-wingers in its dragnet as well.