Leslie Stahl of CBS News’ 60 Minutes has released her interview with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki. During the interview, the CBS reporter demanded to know why YouTube isn’t censoring more “hate speech” and “conspiracy theories.”
This comes even as other sections of the mainstream media worry that authoritarian countries are using terms invented by left-wing journalists in the west, like “fake news,” as tools of censorship.
Lesley Stahl: You recently tightened your policy on hate speech.
Susan Wojcicki: Uh-huh.
Lesley Stahl: Why– why’d you wait so long?
Susan Wojcicki: Well, we have had hate policies since the very beginning of YouTube. And we–
Lesley Stahl: But pretty ineffective.
CBS reported that YouTube’s definition of “harmful content” was too “narrow.” Stahl also reminded the YouTube CEO that she’s not operating under a “freedom of speech mandate.”
Lesley Stahl: You’re not operating under some– freedom of speech mandate. You get to pick.
Susan Wojcicki: We do. But we think there’s a lot of benefit from being able to hear from groups and underrepresented groups that otherwise we never would have heard from.
But that means hearing from people with odious messages about gays, women and immigrants.
Wojcicki explained that videos are allowed as long as they don’t cause harm: but her definition of “harm” can seem narrow.
Susan Wojcicki: So if you’re saying, “Don’t hire somebody because of their race,” that’s discrimination. And so that would be an example of something that would be a violation against our policies.
Lesley Stahl: But if you just said, “White people are superior” by itself, that’s okay.
Susan Wojcicki: And nothing else, yes.
But that is harmful in that it gives white extremists a platform to indoctrinate.
Stahl also expressed concern about the widely-reported phenomenon that the people tech companies assign to review potential “conspiracy theories” on their platforms often end up believing the alleged conspiracy theories.
“We work really hard with all of our reviewers to make sure that, you know, we’re providing the right services for them,” said Wojcicki.
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Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.