YouTube’s CEO, Susan Wojcicki in an on-stage interview during a Code Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona apologized to the LGBTQ community over handling of Steven Crowder’s anti-gay slur videos. However, Wojcicki said that the company was right not to take down Crowder’s video from their platform.
During the on-stage interview, Wojcicki spoke publicly for the first time since YouTube imposed a strike ban on hate speech last week. This included videos that promoted ideas of racial superiority. However, despite these actions, Wojcicki was bombarded with questions about why did the platform decide to leave Steven Crowder’s homophobic video.
“I know that the decisions we made was very hurtful to the LGBTQ community and that wasn’t our intention at all. That was not our intention, and we were really sorry about that, and I do want to explain why we made the decision we did.” Wojcicki said at the Code Conference in Scottsdale, AZ today
This was brought into attention by journalist Carlos Maza who launched an online campaign last month to bring attention to homophobic abuse that he was facing from a certain conservative YouTube personality. The journalist further said that he has been a target of online harassment that has targeted both his gender choice and his ethnicity. A lot of other activists joined Maza and criticized YouTube’s actions for not taking down the video.
Wojcicki in reply said that YouTube had to be consistent from a policy standpoint and that context is what matters the most when taking down a video.
“It’s just from a policy standpoint we need to be consistent — if we took down that content, there would be so much other content that we need to take down.”
She further gave an example of rap videos and late night shows which often contains words that may be considered harmful. However, those videos are contextually fine which is why they are not taken down. While Wojcicki believed that Crowder’s video should not be taken down, she, however, did say that the video was inappropriate and for that reason was demonetized.