11 votes

'Where's the line of free speech – are you removing voices that should be heard?': As Youtube struggles with extreme content, Susan Wojcicki talks about her role as the internet’s gatekeeper

18 comments

  1. [8]
    moonbathers Link
    I agree that YouTube et al. hold way too much power, but deplatforming Nazis isn't the angle to attack it from. There's a very real problem of people becoming radicalized online and we're sitting...

    I agree that YouTube et al. hold way too much power, but deplatforming Nazis isn't the angle to attack it from. There's a very real problem of people becoming radicalized online and we're sitting wringing our hands about the "free marketplace of ideas" and whether it's really ok to ban Nazis from your site. Of course it is, if you ran a forum would you let Nazis take over just because you want an open discussion?

    18 votes
    1. [6]
      Deimos Link Parent
      Quite a few sites have answered "yes" to that exact question. Sites like Voat weren't intended to be the hateful shitholes that they are now, the people running them just didn't want to "censor"...

      if you ran a forum would you let Nazis take over just because you want an open discussion?

      Quite a few sites have answered "yes" to that exact question. Sites like Voat weren't intended to be the hateful shitholes that they are now, the people running them just didn't want to "censor" anything, and that's what inevitably happens.

      13 votes
      1. [5]
        moonbathers Link Parent
        Voat should be exhibit A for everyone on the internet going forward for what happens when you don't moderate. It's like public chat channels in video games concentrated even further. Literally...

        Voat should be exhibit A for everyone on the internet going forward for what happens when you don't moderate. It's like public chat channels in video games concentrated even further. Literally everywhere on the internet that isn't moderated turns into absolute garbage like that.

        14 votes
        1. welly Link Parent
          You're not wrong. I'm a member of an unmoderated narrowboating forum, or at least was until it pretty much got taken over by not Nazis so much but old, right wing BNP types (of course the line is...

          You're not wrong. I'm a member of an unmoderated narrowboating forum, or at least was until it pretty much got taken over by not Nazis so much but old, right wing BNP types (of course the line is blurred between the BNP and actual Nazis).

          Again, this is a narrowboat forum. The most placid of transport and yet you leave it unmoderated and this is what happens.

          8 votes
        2. [3]
          chembliss Link Parent
          With a more diverse ecosystem there would be more moderating styles and more content specific sites. Having conflated in the mind of a lot of people this issue with defending neo-nazi presence in...

          With a more diverse ecosystem there would be more moderating styles and more content specific sites.

          Having conflated in the mind of a lot of people this issue with defending neo-nazi presence in platforms has been a big victory for the Internet giants. Now you can't speak about the danger of a situation in which a few control the whole web without people thinking you're defending some alleged "right" of neo-nazis to publish in Reddit or YouTube.

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            moonbathers Link Parent
            There are plenty of left-wing people who want a more diverse ecosystem / to do something about the internet giants' stranglehold over the internet, I said as much in my first comment. Just talk...

            There are plenty of left-wing people who want a more diverse ecosystem / to do something about the internet giants' stranglehold over the internet, I said as much in my first comment. Just talk about it from any other angle, like how YouTube has essentially a monopoly over video websites.

            5 votes
            1. chembliss Link Parent
              Okay, but I don't know what this has to do with left wing people, I'm left wing myself and never said there weren't.

              Okay, but I don't know what this has to do with left wing people, I'm left wing myself and never said there weren't.

    2. chembliss Link Parent
      Of course not, but there's more censorship that just Nazis going on here, including on "progressive" issues like sex positivity. I don't think the real complain is about what they censor or not,...

      Of course not, but there's more censorship that just Nazis going on here, including on "progressive" issues like sex positivity.

      I don't think the real complain is about what they censor or not, it's that they hold so much power that their decisions are unreasonably influential and are shaping the worldview of over a thousand million people. I understand them censoring neo-nazi content and wouldn't care about them censoring everything even slightly explicit, if they didn't hold so much power.

      The goal shouldn't be to have "reasonable" or "fair" Internet overlords, but to not have them at all. I think both YouTube and the own neo-nazis have an interest on this appearing to be as just about if neo-nazi content should have a place on YouTube, or a free speech issue. It's not that, it's a digital freedom issue, even if YouTube were to find some magical solution to keep everyone happy.

      5 votes
  2. [10]
    chembliss Link
    That a single person gets to decide that for an audience of over a thousand millions shows how far from the "information highway" idea has the Internet deviated. No media outlet has the power over...

    That a single person gets to decide that for an audience of over a thousand millions shows how far from the "information highway" idea has the Internet deviated. No media outlet has the power over TV that YouTube has over online audiovisual media.

    10 votes
    1. [9]
      SantalBlush Link Parent
      It is absolutely an information highway. While sitting in my home, I have access to the a lot of the most esoteric knowledge that humanity has to offer, and I'm still amazed by that. Users have...

      It is absolutely an information highway. While sitting in my home, I have access to the a lot of the most esoteric knowledge that humanity has to offer, and I'm still amazed by that.

      Users have chosen these media sources for themselves; nobody is forcing them to congregate to YouTube and Facebook. As it turns out, people seem to enjoy centralization quite a lot in some circumstances. I see no free speech issue here.

      14 votes
      1. BuckeyeSundae Link Parent
        I’m pretty sympathetic to this argument, but there is one practice common in Google and all resource rich companies that actively suppresses competition that we need to wrestle with too: buying...

        I’m pretty sympathetic to this argument, but there is one practice common in Google and all resource rich companies that actively suppresses competition that we need to wrestle with too: buying the competition to prevent them from competing.

        This practice is simultaneously a capital injection that motivates start ups and their end-game in a lot of cases. If you want to compete with a giant like YouTube (or Google proper or Facebook or large banking institutions, etc.), you’re aiming to get just successful enough that it becomes in that larger company’s interest to buy you out. Then your company and new tech gets “integrated” into the larger company, often poorly with large employee turnover, or the innovation is destroyed and shelved outright.

        This practice is so ubiquitous among large companies that it’s hardly just something happening in tech. But it is something that prevents us from reasonably saying “if you don’t like <big company>’s service, find a different one.” Our doing exactly that has virtually no impact on this anti-competitive cycle. We need to more strongly react to this practice to change the calculus these companies use to decide whether to acquire a smaller company solely to stop them from competing.

        That said, there’s obviously challenge here when it comes to legitimate reasons a larger company might want to acquire a smaller one. I’m not saying it is always illegitimate for a larger company to see a way to improve itself through a smaller one. Ironically, Instagram is a prominent counter example here. But when the proof is there for this suppression of the market, the culprit needs to suffer more consistently than they do today.

        7 votes
      2. [5]
        chembliss (edited ) Link Parent
        I don't see a free speech issue, I see a centralization issue. That "you're free to go elsewhere" isn't a good argument. The internet is not a competitive market, right now it's an oligopoly. It...

        I don't see a free speech issue, I see a centralization issue. That "you're free to go elsewhere" isn't a good argument. The internet is not a competitive market, right now it's an oligopoly. It would be like saying "you're free to create your own pharmaceutical company and develop this or that treatment you say are being boycotted by pharmaceuticals, or if you don't like them promoting opioids". It's a limited analogy, but the point would be that pharmaceutical companies shouldn't hold that much power.

        2 votes
        1. [4]
          SantalBlush Link Parent
          Pharmaceutical companies gain market control by accumulating large amounts of capital and patenting their products. YouTube and Facebook have market control because people like them. That makes...

          Pharmaceutical companies gain market control by accumulating large amounts of capital and patenting their products. YouTube and Facebook have market control because people like them. That makes these internet giants different from a typical oligopoly. I would also point out that we're on Tildes right now, and not Reddit.

          It's not that I disagree with you that they are too powerful, but I haven't yet seen a legitimate reason for regulating them or breaking them up.

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            Diff Link Parent
            I'd argue that it's because of the network effect and that mass amounts of people despise or at least severely distrust them, but otherwise I agree with you.

            because people like them

            I'd argue that it's because of the network effect and that mass amounts of people despise or at least severely distrust them, but otherwise I agree with you.

            3 votes
            1. Diet_Coke Link Parent
              Also because they buy up their competitors before they get big enough to be a threat. This anticompetitive practice is banned in some countries.

              Also because they buy up their competitors before they get big enough to be a threat. This anticompetitive practice is banned in some countries.

              3 votes
          2. chembliss Link Parent
            YouTube and Facebook have done exactly that: accumulating capital. There's no possible competition against them, people likes them because there are very little options aside, and none even half...

            YouTube and Facebook have done exactly that: accumulating capital. There's no possible competition against them, people likes them because there are very little options aside, and none even half as big (and the "liking them" part is becoming less and less true for Facebook).

            And I'm not sure it would be necessary to break YouTube up, it would probably be a good start to just break Alphabet up. Aside from moderation, there are plenty of other issues that are a result of this situation, as privacy ones.

            Also, I know we are at Tildes, I don't understand why you point it out.

            2 votes
      3. [2]
        ShadowMoses Link Parent
        Completely agree. The Internet is very much that "information highway". The Web... maybe not so much these days, at least not sites like YouTube and FB.

        Completely agree. The Internet is very much that "information highway". The Web... maybe not so much these days, at least not sites like YouTube and FB.

        1 vote
        1. chembliss Link Parent
          Well, okay, I was referring to the World Wide Web. And one could say that it's one information highway with a handful of lanes and heavily controlled, if you wish.

          Well, okay, I was referring to the World Wide Web. And one could say that it's one information highway with a handful of lanes and heavily controlled, if you wish.