Google CEO Takes Censorship to New Level, Limit Content Even if It ‘Doesn’t Violate Policies’

The demonetization of Steven Crowder’s YouTube channel has sparked a debate over how Google’s policies on the platform are enforced.
As it turns out, however, Google’s CEO says you don’t even have to violate YouTube policies to have your content essentially relegated to an algorithmic black hole.
That revelation came from CEO Sundar Pichai during an interview on “Axios on HBO,” which aired Sunday.
Pichai was asked about a video in which a teenager apparently dressed up in Muslim garb and said hateful things, garnering 350,000 views in the process.
Pichai wasn’t familiar with the video in question. (The interviewer seems to be referring to a now-removed piece of garbage titled “Be Not Afraid” in which a 14-year-old girl managed to say wildly inappropriate things about following the Islamic faith.)
However, Pichai said that the company was trying to do a better job of stopping content like that from appearing online — including making sure videos that don’t violate the company’s policies but are “borderline” don’t get views.

“Just like today, we do this in search, you know, we rank content based on quality,”  Pichai said in the interview.
“So we are bringing that same notion and approach to YouTube so that we can rank higher quality stuff better and really prevent borderline content — content which doesn’t exactly violate policies, which need to be removed, but which can still cause harm.”
It’s not difficult to see where the problem lies here. “Be Not Afraid” violates all sorts of YouTube policies; it’s rubbish and I’m sure even its creator knows that she was blatantly spitting in the face of the rules of the website when it was published.
However, when one talks about “borderline” stuff being algorithmically slammed — well, where is the border?
This isn’t just about Steven Crowder now, since YouTube’s official position is that his material violates the company’s guidelines. Instead, we’re now talking about stuff that doesn’t violate the rules but that — to be quite blunt — Google and YouTube don’t like.
Everything Pichai said is open to interpretation in the worst sort of way. “Higher quality stuff?” “Borderline content?” And what is prevention? Again, nothing here is truly defined.
And that’s what should frighten every one of us.
Google is not necessarily a moral actor here. They initially decided that Steven Crowder didn’t break any rules and, after an outcry, later decided that he did. Furthermore, they’re essentially saying that you don’t even need to violate the rules to be put into an algorithmic black hole.
While this is certainly Google’s right, the problem comes in when you realize that the rules aren’t really just the rules. We all know what “higher quality stuff” is — and it’s probably not conservative content, given Google’s political leanings. Instead, the double-secret rules that will get you “borderlined” are almost certainly meant to enforce the tech giant’s worldview.
If it’s up to big tech as to what is or isn’t harmful, this is just going to get worse. If YouTube wants to make rules, there have to be clear lines. There can’t be lines and then stuff that exists on the “borderline” that can be censored. Enough is enough. What we need are fair rules that treat content creators equally — and not just if they ascribe to a certain worldview.
Google CEO Takes Censorship to New Level, Limit Content Even if It ‘Doesn’t Violate Policies’ Google CEO Takes Censorship to New Level, Limit Content Even if It ‘Doesn’t Violate Policies’ Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 09:56 Rating: 5

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