Youtube too big to fix?

Uhhnisha's picture
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Youtube has had its fair share of scrutiny with a number of videos depicting white supremacy and its removal of videos that audiences didn't find fair to take down. Recently with an interview with CNN, Google's CEO Sundar Pichai has commented that:

"We've gotten much better at using a combination of machines and humans," Pichai said. "So it's one of those things, let's say we're getting it right 99% of the time, you'll still be able to find examples. Our goal is to take that to a very, very small percentage well below 1%."

Do you think its fair to hold Youtube accountable for lowering that percentage? In a market where they have the best and the brightest working to create these algorithms to filter what is appropriate or not, should there be more of a standard set for these tech giants?

Comments (109)

Jun 17, 2019

No, tech companies shouldn't be allowed to veto the public discourse.

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Jun 17, 2019

it really is that simple

Jun 19, 2019

the only tech company that I support is PORNHUB.COM

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Jun 17, 2019

Legal experts have argued that FB/Google, etc, are private companies and not domains of public discourse. Therefore, they have the right to allow/publish whatever they want on their sites. Therefore, kicking people off the platform cannot be called suppression of free speech. After all, this is a free market, and if a platform is not viable to get out your ideas, start another.

However, I would think that if the big social media companies are willing to take the blame for what it deems "radical" they should exercise more control over all the content. In other words, if a leftist posts opinion with some stats and "facts" sprinkled in all throughout, it should be labeled, categorized, and filed away as just that--an opinion piece.

The social media companies are really in no place to say what should get through as quality information and what shouldn't after they allowed the spread of literal misinformation as legitimate 'news' around an important event as critical as national elections.

The thing they should be focused on is reorganizing their model so that it is not an endless feed of shit falling down to unsuspecting viewer's dashboards, just so that they stay hooked. Left wing and right wing nutjobs alike should stay in their respective corners if they want to use the platform.

When that happens, people who would get 'offended' need not view the content at all.

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Jun 18, 2019

Except they keep saying they are a platform and not publishers

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Jun 17, 2019

This is a much bigger issue than just YouTube. This is the moral quandary of our time. The same algorithms that suggest other artists you may like while you're listening to a song or other people you may know or other videos that are a lot like the cat video you just liked are the algorithms that suggest more and more radical views.

An easily influenced teenager sees his dad watching Fox News so he goes on YouTube and checks out a Ben Shapiro or Tomi Lahren video to see what the fuss is. Ben is intelligent and Tomi is a babe, so the kid keeps watching. After a while, Milo Yiannopoulos and Breitbart videos are suggested. They're a bit more out of the norm, but their arguments back up and expand on the kid's evolving worldview. He sees the President of the United States parroting the same talking points and dog whistles, giving them credence. The combination of Ben, Tomi, Milo, and Brietbart makes the algorithm recommend Infowars. Alex Jones yells at the kid about gay frogs and crisis actors in school shootings and by now he's all in, reading Stormfront and other white nationalist blogs and "owning the libs" on twitter with a cartoon frog as his avatar and it works in the same way that watching cute cat videos would lead to watching cute dog videos and then cute horse videos etc. (And before you dumbasses throw too much shit at me, it works the same way on the left too. Suddenly liberal kids think vaccines cause autism, communism is a great idea, and you can invent your own pronouns.)

I agree that tech companies should not be allowed to bar discussion of things they simply don't like or disagree with, but I also believe that they do have a responsibility to not design algorithms that radicalize people, either by design or by neglect.

White Supremacy exists in real life too and people have the right to believe in it and express it to others. The difference is that everyone else in the world can ostracize those individuals for their outlandish beliefs - those beliefs aren't recommended to everyone in public, popular forums.

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Jun 17, 2019

great analysis

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Jun 18, 2019

Really WSO, this is the comment voted most helpful? A defense of censorship masquerading as a thoughtful reflection on our tech-driven world?

I don't think there's anything complicated about a free marketplace for ideas, or why it is obviously the right answer. And I don't think the presence of algorithms makes it any less free.

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Jun 17, 2019
PteroGonzalez:

Really WSO, this is the comment voted most helpful? A defense of censorship masquerading as a thoughtful reflection on our tech-driven world?

I don't think there's anything complicated about a free marketplace for ideas, or why it is obviously the right answer. And I don't think the presence of algorithms makes it any less free.

Please point to where I "defended censorship," because I can point to where I explicitly stated that tech companies should not be allowed to bar discussion of things they don't like or disagree with AND where I explicitly stated that people have the right to believe in and express white supremacy of all things.

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Jun 18, 2019

Don't ever waver in our defense of free speech. The loss of free speech is a crucial first step down the road to tyrannical oppression by an authoritarian government. First they will come after the 1st amendment, then the 2nd amendment. Without the 2nd amendment, all other rights will fail such as due process and right to unreasonable search/seizure as citizens will have zero means to oppose the will of the tyrannical authoritarian state.

I cannot stand neo-leftism in America, but I will not tolerate any trampling of their equal rights to free speech. It is imperative that both of our viewpoints flow freely in public discourse if we are to remain a free country.

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Jun 18, 2019
PteroGonzalez:

Really WSO, this is the comment voted most helpful? A defense of censorship masquerading as a thoughtful reflection on our tech-driven world?

I don't think there's anything complicated about a free marketplace for ideas, or why it is obviously the right answer. And I don't think the presence of algorithms makes it any less free.

Reading Skill 0/10

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Jun 18, 2019

Keep in mind that only one side of the table wants to censor the other. True conservative intellectuals (not provocateurs) have zero fear of neo-Marxist leftism being exposed as a ridiculous cult of moral subjectivity and Christian hatred. The left's arguments such as subjective gender identity, unlimited immigration, impossible removal of implicit racism from society, support new wave feminism, demonization of masculinity, special treatment of minorities solely based on skin color or self-identity, white "privilege" regardless of of socioeconomic standing, and constant persecution of traditional Christianity as an "oppressive" ideology all fall apart in the face of simple logic and essential historical knowledge.

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Jun 18, 2019

Ahh good ol Jordan Peterson. His recent interview with Joe Rogan is killer!

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Jun 19, 2019

"muh dog whistles" get a grip air bud

"The only thing I know is that I know nothing, and i am no quite sure that i know that." Socrates

Jun 21, 2019

Very good points

Jun 17, 2019

The bigger problem is that the general population and certain members of this site are too stupid to spend 12 seconds to verify what they read and just gobble it up like sheep. That's likely what you get when you're subject to an education system that doesn't focus enough on critical thinking... Tech companies should be allowed to do whatever they please because protecting people with room temperature IQ isn't their job.

Jun 17, 2019
m_1:

The bigger problem is that the general population and certain members of this site are too stupid to spend 12 seconds to verify what they read and just gobble it up like sheep. That's likely what you get when you're subject to an education system that doesn't focus enough on critical thinking... Tech companies should be allowed to do whatever they please because protecting people with room temperature IQ isn't their job.

All this to say you agree it's not a violation of free speech ?

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Jun 17, 2019

It's Google's product so they can do whatever they want with it. If they want to ban certain content then they should have every right to do so. I could care less about what's posted on Youtube, but I absolutely hate it when social media companies (Google, FB, and Twitter) claim they can't control their content. They absolutely can control their content, but it would increase costs (require hiring more humans) and drive away their most rabid users who tend to watch/take part in this this supposedly controversial content. The only reason Google is attempting to lightly regulate their content is because companies don't want their ads displayed on some neo-nazis youtube rant (and they've been threatening to pull advertisements off youtube)

If social media companies can't control their content, then how could they be trusted to protect our information/data. What other aspects of their software do they lack the ability to control? Imagine if Pichai was CEO of a bank and instead of talking about inappropriate content he was talking about the bank making bad loans. People, shareholders, and the board would say he is incompetent and be should be fired. Luckily for Pichai, he runs one of the most advanced companies on earth that according to him doesn't have the ability to regulate its own systems. Obviously they're never going to achieve perfection, but its funny how these companies are able to reach near perfection in quickly removing videos that contain child pornography and other illegal content.

Sorry for my rant, I just would have more respect for the social media companies if they would admit their only concern is making money and that anything that doesn't blatantly violate the law can go on their site. They want to have the appearance as being moral and just, but want to do as little as possible in doing so. It would even be better if they had a no politics rule which would solve most of the problems social media faces.

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Funniest
Jun 17, 2019

Yea man! If you don't like it, just like build your own internet and just don't violate the NAP!

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Jun 18, 2019

I had my chuckle when the mass purge ended up deleting a ton of educational videos put online by liberal academics that wanted to teach about the atrocities of Nazism.

''99% right'' isn't remotely close to the truth. Internal memos, videos about meetings are blatantly clear. Pichai should be investigated for lying to Congress.

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Jun 18, 2019

Not only is the "99% right" figure far from the truth, it's also a cherry-picked data point. Their Algo's and People go through to analyze VIDEOS. So getting everything 99% correct DOES NOT mean shit because the damage very well could already be done...

It's a big difference if that 1% you miss yielded 300 video views or 3million... It's disingenuous to claim 99% by tipping the scales in their favor via the random 20 view radical videos they take down if they miss / leave up videos with hundreds of thousands of views as well...

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Jun 18, 2019

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Jun 17, 2019

And who the hell are a bunch of noodle armed coders and HR nazis to determine what is "radical" and what is not? Let me guess...

NOT Radical - videos of 9yo boys being groomed at pride parades while grown men in g-strings shake their junk in his face.

Radical - videos explaining that unlimited and illegal 3rd world immigration will lead to unhealthy demographic change and a drain on limited public resources lik schools, hospitals, and court systems.

Did I get this correct?

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Jun 18, 2019

It's pretty funny that CRE mentions Ben Shapiro as an acceptable content provider, but if it was up to Susan Wojcicky, he'd be gone too.

Just like Tim Pool would, and he's a reasonable liberal and a bunch of others who question the social justice doctrine.
Radical is basically synonym of anyone who's not ultra-left. We aren't talking about Stormfront that makes lists of Jews to do you know what.

Jun 18, 2019
Pmc2ghy:

And who the hell are a bunch of noodle armed coders and HR nazis to determine what is "radical" and what is not? Let me guess...

NOT Radical - videos of 9yo boys being groomed at pride parades while grown men in g-strings shake their junk in his face.

Radical - videos explaining that unlimited and illegal 3rd world immigration will lead to unhealthy demographic change and a drain on limited public resources lik schools, hospitals, and court systems.

Did I get this correct?

Branching off of this, I think more along these lines when they say they can't control their content.

If you had to take everything offensive off youtube, there wouldn't be a youtube.

Are white supremacy not allowed on? What about over sexual Nicki Manji/rap videos?

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Jun 18, 2019

Deleted

Jun 18, 2019

Let the companies do what they want, which is another way of saying let the customers decide.

Really not that concerned that normal kids with normal parents are going to become white supremacists without Sundar Pichai coming to the rescue.

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Jun 17, 2019
PteroGonzalez:

Let the companies do what they want, which is another way of saying let the customers decide.

Really not that concerned that normal kids with normal parents are going to become white supremacists without Sundar Pichai coming to the rescue.

This issue has nothing to do with kids, so not sure why they're being brought up. Kids don't vote or make any other decisions in society. The concern I see is with unhealthy echo chambers that allow for spread of misinformation, deeper entrenchment with radicalization, and the notion of "I'm right, you're wrong" style of politics versus actual thought provoking discourse.

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Jun 18, 2019

So you think the "issue has nothing to do with kids" just because your commentary didn't mention kids? Interesting. Maybe consider the thoughts of others.

Those who defend censorship, on this thread and elsewhere, tend to make the argument that its done for the kids. Adults can discern right from wrong but kids can't, they argue. And while you believe that kids don't matter because they don't make decisions, others presumably believe that kids grow up to be adults.

Whether we are talking about adults or kids, I think people are way too interested in setting filters for what others are exposed to.

Jun 18, 2019

Customers are not deciding when a massive quasi-monopoly takes a political/moral stance that alienates roughly half of America.

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Jun 18, 2019

So they're alienated yet still forced to watch? How?

Jun 18, 2019

YouTube has nearly 1.9 billion account holding users that visit the site each month. It reaches more 18-35 year olds via mobile devices alone than any TV network. The site is localized in 91 countries and can be accessed in 80 different languages.

From a business standpoint, I do not believe acting as a moral arbitrator will benefit Google in the long run. The company clearly has a left leaning bias, and they are alienating a wide swatch of users. In 2018, Gallup estimated that roughly 35% of Americans are conservative, and another 35% are moderate. A reasonable portion of Americans that disagree with their policies may be as high a 50%, or half the country.

The issue with censorship is the necessary element of bias. Censorship cannot exist without bias. Certain censorship may be necessary such as pornography, unfiltered graphic violence, terrorist recruitment videos, etc... but this material is widely agreed upon as deserving of censorship by the vast majority of the country.

Google is headed down a scary path which will have dramatic consequences for the nation. They are attempting to program the populace by censoring one side of the political argument, demonstrating moral subjectivity based on their own corporate agenda. It is imperative that the Federal government intervene if the portion of total users continues growing to where the YouTube platform is a monopoly so the growing percentage of total public discourse online carries the same free speech protections that we fortunately are blessed with in public arenas.

Try this exercise. First Google "white couple" then "black couple". Now Google "American inventors". Then Google "Jesus" vs. "Muhammad" vs. "Buddha" and look at the difference in the information that pops up on the right side of the screen. Have you ever noticed than no homage is paid to any Christian holidays on Google's homepage while other major religions receive special treatment with an animation of some sort?

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Jun 18, 2019

You're contradicting your earlier post. First you say customers aren't able to decide because they're forced into a quasi-monopoly, now you're saying that alienated customers will eventually leave or watch less.

Jun 18, 2019

You are misunderstanding. I will clarify - customers will only be able to leave if there are peer institutions of equal size/scale/content diversity to move to. Google as a company is becoming so large and ubiquitous with intellectual/technological property assets and infrastructure so far ahead of any competitors that concerns of monopoly formation should be considered.

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Jun 18, 2019

Good points, but the real scary part is that this criticism itself can and will be censored under the guise of opposition to "white supremacy".

I of course agree that censorship on what is essentially a modern radio transmission system is a problem by itself, but the truly terrifying thing is that people will enthusiastically cheer this censorship, and will go to great lengths to demonize people making any criticism against their beliefs.

Example: go on Twitter right now and ask why google doesn't have any Christian imagery on its homepage on Christian holidays - you will unironically be called a bigot, and someone will accuse this criticism as a "dog whistle" (already used in this thread) for islamaphobia or similar.

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Jun 18, 2019

Agreed. Large scary influential powers in big business and politics are ruthlessly attacking our right to free speech under the guise of banning "hate" speech (which apparently only applies to straight white males verbally attacking all other groups), ending LGBTQ+ discrimination (which includes legal enforcement for recognition of infinite pronouns/gender identities), and of course white supremacy (which is a non-issue in America - see white supremacist violent crimes as a portion of total violent crimes).

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Jun 18, 2019

This a billion times too.

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Jun 18, 2019

It's funny how even acknowledging that a media (big tech) bias exists against the far right gets you pegged as a white supremacist or the ilk. If content creators on that side of the spectrum are banned, the least companies like YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter could do would be to censor equally radical content spewing from the other side. They are both equally poisonous.

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Jun 19, 2019

Couldn't have said it better myself. +1

Jun 18, 2019

The majority of individuals that work for big tech are brainwashed sheep indoctrinated into Marxism while attending universities which openly advocate for the demise of free markets and individual rights.

Jun 17, 2019

youtube had the potential to be so much bigger/better than it is

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Jun 19, 2019

When it comes to YT, I watch my kids' favorite video game videos with ear-rape trap music, to keep it safe. Won't go near the political stuff

Jun 19, 2019

I don't accept the premise of this question. Is it the phone company's duty to prevent political speech that it dislikes on its platform? YouTube is protected as a platform by law, which means that it can't be sued for copyright violations and libelous material. Either YouTube is a platform or it's a publisher. It can't have it both ways.

Jun 19, 2019

Care to elaborate here? I think that this is similar to the "public utility" argument I've heard. But I haven't heard the argument put in a easy to understand way when it comes to the legality and the governments hand in all this. Would be interested in hearing that argument though

"The only thing I know is that I know nothing, and i am no quite sure that i know that." Socrates

Jun 19, 2019

The Washington Post, for example, is a publisher. It is liable for copyright infringement and libelous statements. The phone company is a platform. It is not liable for slander/libel, illegal activity, etc. that occurs on its platform. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was proactive legislation that, in part, exempted internet platforms from civil and criminal liability due to the behavior of its users.

Facebook, Youtube, et al claim (inappropriately, IMO) exemptions under the Act while actively censoring political speech. Because some favorable judges have ruled in their favor, these so-called platforms have both the protection of a platform and the freedom of a publisher while traditional media has no such liability exemptions. Because of these favorable court rulings, legislation must be introduced clarifying the difference between a publisher and a platform. That legislation has just been introduced in Congress.

Jun 20, 2019

What do you think about Facebook creating it's own crypto-currency called Libra. I am a little biased. Mark Zuckerberg is not someone I speak highly about. He stole the idea of Facebook from the Winklevoss twins and than got Eduardo Saverin to fund his Facebook servers. After that, Mark Zuckerberg claimed it was all his idea. Saverin got like $3-4 Billion after suing him. I don't trust Facebook, nope, don't go on Facebook and don't want another one from one I had.

Jun 20, 2019

I actually started a discussion on it the other day - maybe we can move our thoughts there?

https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/facebook-so...

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Jun 18, 2019
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Jun 23, 2019
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Jul 7, 2019