Sundar Pichai indicated YouTube’s crackdown would target ‘borderline content’
YouTube’s war on so-called ‘conspiracy’ and right-leaning videos was signaled by its announcement to ban content promoting one group as superior to another “in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.”
Speaking to Axios, Google CEO Sundar Pichai indicated YouTube’s crackdown would target what they describe as “borderline content.”
“Look, we aren’t quite where we want to be,” Pichai told “Axios on HBO.”
As the platform moves to eliminate problematic content, Pichai suggested they’re working toward even more extensive content-controlling measures.
Google, said Pichai, “rank[s] content based on quality.”
They now look to use the same approach with Youtube.
“And so we are bringing that same notion and approach to YouTube so that we can rank higher quality stuff better and really prevent borderline content,” he said.
But what is “borderline content?”
Pichai offers his definition.
“Content which doesn’t exactly violate policies, which need to be removed, but which can still cause harm,” he said.
Pichai said the issue is “a hard computer science problem,” adding it is an even harder “societal problem because we need better frameworks around what is hate speech, what’s not, and how do we as a company make those decisions at scale, and get it right without making mistakes.”
Youtube recently announced in a statement its changes to how it handles the content.
“YouTube has always had rules of the road, including a longstanding policy against hate speech.”
“Today, we’re taking another step in our hate speech policy by specifically prohibiting videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.”
“We will begin enforcing this updated policy today; however, it will take time for our systems to fully ramp up, and we’ll be gradually expanding coverage over the next several months,” the platform explained.
Earlier this year, YouTube said it was going to crack down on channels that “repeatedly brush up against our hate speech policies” by barring them from working with the YouTube Partner ad program.
“Even if a creator’s content doesn’t violate our community guidelines, we will take a look at the broader context and impact, and if their behavior is egregious and harms the broader community, we may take action,” YouTube said in a statement Wednesday.
“In the case of Crowder’s channel, a thorough review over the weekend found that individually, the flagged videos did not violate our Community Guidelines.
However, in the subsequent days, we saw the widespread harm to the YouTube community resulting from the ongoing pattern of egregious behavior, took a deeper look, and made the decision to suspend monetization.
In order to be considered for reinstatement, all relevant issues with the channel need to be addressed, including any videos that violate our policies, as well as things like offensive merchandise.”