YouTube CEO Defends Its Efforts to Reduce Violent Content

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki defended her firm’s efforts to maintain violent content material off the video platform on the sixth annual Lesbians Who Tech Summit Friday in San Francisco. Wojcicki was interviewed by New York Times columnist Kara Swisher, who took the YouTube chief to job for the platform’s failure to maintain harmful content material away from youngsters. Last week stories emerged that scenes describing the right way to commit suicide have been spliced into YouTube movies geared toward kids, solely the most recent instance in an extended listing of troublesome content material plaguing the platform.

“We take kids’ safety incredibly seriously, and I would say that the last two years have really been focused on the responsibility of our platforms,” stated Wojcicki. “I’m a mom, I have five kids from 4 to 19,” she defined to the gang filling the Castro Theatre, one in every of San Francisco’s oldest film homes. “I understand kids, and as a parent I really want to do the right thing.”

Following the most recent controversy, YouTube once more modified its insurance policies concerning content material that options kids, eliminating feedback on movies that includes younger minors, or older minors engaged in dangerous habits. She stated some creators could also be upset that their movies received’t be the topic of feedback. “This change takes away that ability from people who are innocent,” she stated. “But this is a decision we made because we want to prioritize children’s safety.” Earlier this 12 months, YouTube stated it might change its algorithm to advocate much less content material that is perhaps dangerous.

About 500 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube each minute. In the third quarter of 2018, the corporate eliminated almost eight million movies with problematic content material from the location, 75 p.c of which have been recognized by machine-learning techniques, Wojcicki stated. Most of these movies didn’t have a single view. (A report overlaying the fourth quarter is due quickly, she stated.)

During Friday’s convention, Swisher lamented that her teenage son was in a position to land on neo-Nazi propaganda after just a few clicks on YouTube: “I said, ‘I’m going to kill Susan Wojcicki.’ It feels like all of you tech companies built these beautiful cities, but you decided to not put in police, fire, garbage…” Do tech corporations have a way of the impression they’re having, Swisher requested, and do they want regulation to take care of it? “We use the analogy of a city too,” Wojcicki stated. She stated a number of the issues of YouTube and different platforms stemmed from their speedy development. “We were this smaller city, and everybody knew each other on the internet, and very quickly we grew to this major metropolitan city,” she stated. “Google has committed to having 10,000 people dealing with controversial content. We have already made a huge difference, and we will continue.”

Following the convention’s give attention to inclusion—80 p.c of Lesbians Who Tech audio system are queer ladies, 50 p.c are ladies of coloration, 15 p.c are transgender or gender non-conforming—Swisher additionally grilled Wojcicki about her firm’s variety efforts. Wojcicki talked about a 2017 story she’d written for Vanity Fair known as “How to Break Up the Silicon Valley Boys’ Club.” “The first point I made was that it has to come from the CEO level,” Wojcicki stated. “The CEO has to make it a priority; they have to say, I’m going to meet with the underrepresented groups, I’m going to focus on having a diverse management team.”

When she joined YouTube in 2014, Wojcicki stated, the corporate’s administration crew was 15 p.c ladies; right this moment, it’s 30 p.c ladies. “I’ve been really focused on diversity at YouTube and on bringing more leaders and women and people of color and underrepresented minorities.”

Last fall Google staff staged a walkout in response, partly, to a New York Times report that the corporate paid Android creator Andy Rubin $90 million to exit the corporate following accusations of sexual misconduct. Following the protest, Google eradicated a requirement for binding arbitration in instances of harassment and discrimination claims, pledged to finish pay inequity, and to revamp the method staff use to report sexual misconduct. “I don’t want to say that everything is solved, but there were a lot of changes that were made quickly,” stated Wojcicki.

As a part of the protest, staff demanded that Google appoint an worker to its board. Pressed by Swisher, Wojcicki, who doesn’t sit on the board of Google guardian Alphabet however does serve on Salesforce’s board, wouldn’t say whether or not she helps this transfer, which Google has declined to make.

Lesbians Who Tech calls itself the biggest LGBTQ skilled within the occasion on the planet; the group holds conferences in San Francisco and New York, with smaller gatherings in 40 cities globally. About 6,000 persons are attending this weekend’s gathering in San Francisco. In addition to Wojcicki, audio system on Friday included Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), San Francisco Mayor London Breed, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate and rising Democratic Party star Stacey Abrams, and Emerson Collective founder Laurene Powell Jobs. The occasion additionally featured classes on scaling venture-backed corporations, cybersecurity finest practices, constructing serverless functions, and imposter syndrome. The group affords a coding and scholarship fund named for Edie Windsor, the late IBM pc programmer whose efforts to drive the US authorities to acknowledge her same-sex marriage led to a landmark 2013 Supreme Court case that legalized homosexual marriage nationally.

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