YouTube's chief product officer claims that the platform has grown so much that it now needs new rules to regulate “bad actors”. Amid the recent accusations of biased censorship, the company announced it will crackdown further on racist content and “disinformation”.
“YouTube has now grown to a big city. More bad actors have come into place. And just like in any big city, you need a new set of rules and laws and kind of regulatory regime,” said Neal Mohan to the Associated Press.
The video giant and other tech companies are accused of apparent failure to tackle content promoting so-called “hate speech”, disinformation, and the exploitation of minors. They are also equally criticized for their biased censorship which silences free speech.
“We want to make sure that YouTube remains an open platform because that’s where a lot of the magic comes from, even though there may be some opinions and voices on the platform that I don’t agree with, that you don’t agree with,” Mohan said.
Recent controversies include the infamous “VoxAdpocalypse” against decent independent creators while, at the same time, the algorithm was directing users to videos of children used by pedophiles to manifest predatory behavior in the comments and to share links to child porn. Many of these videos were monetized.
Last week, Google reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with the FTC over allegations of violating children’s data privacy laws on its video platform. In June, YouTube demonetized Stephen Crowder’s channel after a social media campaign from Vox's Carlos Maza, who accused the company of not enforcing its harassment rules. In response, Crowder’s fans accused YouTube of having a liberal bias that unfairly silences conservative views.
Mohan suggested that positive discrimination could be applied to “authoritative sources” like traditional media outlets such as “AFP or CNN or BBC or the AP or whoever”, raising an issue already mentioned by the independent channels that made YouTube what it is today: their content is often obscured by search results and their subscribers miss the new content, while corporate media (that ironically is often a competitor to YouTube) is already being heavily promoted by YouTube.
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