Five takeaways From YouTube’s week Of controversiesThe Hill at MSN.Com #Espa_OlJune 8, 2019
© The Hill
Five takeaways from YouTube’s week of controversies
YouTube infuriated critics across the political spectrum this week in its handling of controversies over harassment, extremism and exploitation.
And pressure on the Google-owned company is likely to increase in the near future.
The platform was accused of enabling child sexual exploitation, failing to protect LGBTQ creators from harassment, sweeping up activists and journalists amid a purge of extremist videos, and being biased against conservatives.
YouTube said Crowder’s videos did not violate its policies against hate speech and harassment but nevertheless decided to prohibit Crowder from selling ads on his channel until he deals with some of the “issues” that have been raised, spurring accusations on the right of anti-conservative bias.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who has blasted tech companies for what he says is bias against conservatives, jumped into the fray.
“I am sure that there will be any number of anecdotal incidents that people are angry about,” Jesse Blumenthal, head of tech and innovation policy for the Koch network, told The Hill.
But not everyone is criticizing YouTube’s new policy on extremist videos.
Children’s safety groups and lawmakers on Capitol Hill are demanding answers from YouTube after researchers found that its recommendation algorithm created playlists of scantily clad children, heightening concerns about predators on the platform.
Subsequent reports found that YouTube’s algorithm led users to more videos of young girls.
The company’s handling of harmful content is likely to come up as the probe moves forward, with lawmakers increasingly raising concerns about whether Congress should step in to take on some of the complicated questions surrounding speech online.