Of all the products or services that Google has, YouTube is probably the one that generates the most controversy. Practically every month we see a new controversy splashing on the platform, and the company has been modifying its policies to try to minimize this type of situation.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, offered a few hours ago an exclusive interview with AXIOS, in which he acknowledged that YouTube still has many problems to solve, and it seems that it is still far from the level of control they have in other services.
In said interview, Pichai affirms that “we are not where we want to be”, and made reference to how the results show in his search engine. The CEO of Google wants something similar to happen on YouTube:
“We, you know, we classify content according to quality, and that’s why we are taking that same notion and approach to YouTube so that we can better classify the highest quality material and really avoid the dubious content.” Content that does not exactly violate the policies, which needs to be eliminated, but which can still cause harm. “
9 million videos deleted in the last quarter
Pichai points out that in the company “nobody wants to see harmful content”on their platforms, and ensures that in the last quarter they have eliminated nine million YouTube videos. Anyway, the CEO of Google wanted to remember that it is a “very difficult” task to solve, both in the technical and social aspects.
And YouTube is a platform with some figures of vertigo, with hundreds of hours of video that are uploaded every minute . This makes it very difficult to detect videos that do not violate the policies but can be harmful and vice versa.
We lived a good example a few months ago, when a YouTube algorithm confused the fire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York.
I'm so glad we let tech platforms eat the journalism industry.
Now, I can sit and watch a live stream of Notre Dame burning while YouTube's fake news widget tells me about 9/11 for some reason. pic.twitter.com/FhAtE4DqtB
— Ryan Broderick (@broderick) April 15, 2019
In recent days, YouTube has again become the protagonist of many headlines. Earlier last week, YouTube announced changes to its anti-hate speech policies on the platform, saying it would eliminate videos that promote hatred and racial supremacism.
His latest controversy is starring American commentator Steven Crowder. The journalist Carlos Maza publicly denounced that he was being harassed by Crowder on his YouTube channel, where he came to be called “gay Mexican” or “fagot gay”.
At first, YouTube responded to Maza’s complaint by claiming that (although they knew it was a “harmful” content) it did not violate the platform’s policies. That decision generated a lot of controversy in the network, and hours later the company backed down and announced that they “suspended the monetization” of the Steven Crowder channel.