YouTube claimed to have made significant progress in removing the harmful video on its platform following a June update to its content policy, which prohibited supremacist and other hateful content. The company says it has this quarter removed over 100,000 videos and terminated over 17,000 channels for hate speech. It also removed nearly double the number of comments to over 500 million, in part due to an increase in hate speech removals.
However, the company is haphazardly attempting to draw a line between what’s considered hateful content and what’s considered free speech.
This has resulted in what the U.S. Anti-Defamation League, in a recent report, referred to as a “significant number” of channels that disseminate anti-Semitic and white supremacist content being left online, following the June 2019 changes to the content policy.
CEO of YouTube Susan Wojcicki soon thereafter took to the YouTube Creator blog to defend the company’s position on the matte. She argued for the value that comes from having an open platform.
According to Susan Wojcicki, a commitment to openness is not easy. And it sometimes means leaving up content that is outside the mainstream, controversial or even offensive. She believes that hearing a broad range of perspectives ultimately makes us a stronger and more informed society, even if we disagree with some of those views.
YouTube still seems to be unsure of where it stands on this sort of content. While arguably these videos would be considered hate speech, much seems to be left online. YouTube also flip-flopped last week when it removed then quickly reinstated the channels of two Europe-based, far-right YouTube creators who espouse white nationalist views.
Beyond the hate speech removals, YouTube also spoke today of the methodology it uses to flag content for review.