YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki is coming out swinging against free speech once again, recommending that government pass laws regulating speech for her to implement.
In an interview with TIDETVhamburg, she was asked about the balancing act in complying with national laws while also keeping users interested and advertisers happy. “We work around the globe, and you’re right, certainly there are many different laws and many different jurisdictions, and we enforce the laws of the various jurisdictions around speech or what’s considered safe or not safe,” she replied, adding that that the “controversial part” has arose when it comes to content that “would be deemed harmful but it not deemed illegal,” citing so-called COVID misinformation as an example.
“For us, we look at that content and we think about the role that we play in society. We want to be doing the right thing for our users and our creators,” she said, later adding “Our recommendation is that if government want to have more control over online speech [they should] pass laws, [and] to have that be very cleanly and clearly defined so that we can implement it. There are times that we see laws being implemented or suggested and they’re not necessarily clean or possible for us to cleanly interpret them.” She then indicated that she’d be happy with censorship more broadly too; “And we’ve seen there’s laws passed just for the internet, as opposed to all speech. I do think that’s a dangerous area when we get in and say ‘oh sure you can say something like that in a magazine or on TV but you can’t say it on the internet.'”
In 2021, Wojcicki received a “Free Expression” award from the Freedom Forum Institute. However, it turned out the funding for the awards body was provided by YouTube, and Susan’s mother Esther Wojcicki sits on the council of advisers for the awards body.
Meanwhile, YouTube’s main competitor Rumble set new records for user engagement and posts in January.
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