YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has acknowledged that the platform’s policy of boosting “authoritative” mainstream media sources and suppressing independent creators in search makes it “harder, in some cases, for channels, maybe who are getting started or smaller, to be able to be visible when there’s a major event or when people are looking at something that is science or news related” but insists that that the policy is “really, really important.”
Wojcicki made the comments during an interview with The Atlantic’s CEO, Nicholas Thompson, at the World Economic Forum’s Global Technology Governance Summit 2021.
While she acknowledged that this policy does make it harder for creators in some cases, Wojcicki argued that the policy is necessary:
“When we had the Las Vegas shooting, unfortunately, there were a lot of people who were uploading content that was not factual, that was not correct. And it’s much easier to just make up content and post it from your, your basement than it is to actually go to the site and to be able to report and have high-quality journalistic reporting. And so, that was just an example of what happens if you don’t have that kind of ranking.
So sure, we want to enable citizen journalism and other people to be able to report and other people to be able to share information on new channels but when we’re dealing with a sensitive topic, we have to have that information coming from authoritative sources so that the right and accurate information is viewed by our users first.”
Thompson followed up by pointing out that such a policy seems to go against the whole principle of YouTube.