The CEO of YouTube Susan Wojcicki rented out space in her garage to two young students. She was trying to make some extra money. Little did she know that these two Stanford doctoral students Larry Page and Sergey Brin would become the founders of the second largest search engine — Google. Yet, there was still a more significant change for her.
The young men hired her to do marketing. She was the 16the employee of Google, which went on to buy YouTube, which she recommended. That was how she became the CEO of YouTube. Now, she has begun an aggressive plan to root out false, violent, and criminal posts.
One of her biggest challenges has been the 2020 presidential election videos. Granted, Facebook has been the most public offender of presidential campaign ads after refusing to remove a Donald Trump reelection video. It contained fake information about his leading opponent Joe Biden.
CBS’s 60 Minutes producers discovered that YouTube had removed over 300 Trump campaign ads for violating its company policies.
Every hour users upload 400 hours of video. Americans watch over one billion hours of YouTube videos every day. That was more than Facebook and Netflix combined, and there have been over one billion mobile video viewed every single day, according to Brandwatch.
Compare TV ads to online ads, and there really has been no comparison. YouTube political ads can identify their target audience then install machine-learning algorithms and let them go at it. Political ads have been regulated on television, but online ads have different rules. The company has greater freedom — and great responsibilities. Wojcicki has taken that very seriously.
Twitter agreed to ban all political ads. While Google and its subsidiary YouTube have not banned them, they have:
‘[A]justments and clarifications to its policy, including limiting microtargeting of users.’
In the interview, 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl asked Wojcicki:
‘Have you taken down any of President Trump’s ads at all?’
YouTube’s CEO responded:
‘There are ads of President Trump that were not approved to run on Google or YouTube. Well, they’re available in our transparency report.’
After internet worries over the 2016 presidential campaign, Google with YouTube and Facebook kept a “searchable archive of political ads that have run on the site.”
60 Minutes found over 300 video ads that Google and YouTube took down. Unfortunately, the companies’ archives did not indicate which company policy each banned ad violated.
‘As you know, conservatives think that you discriminate against them.’
‘Well, first of all there are lots of very successful conservative creators on YouTube… Our systems, our algorithms, they don’t have any concept of understanding what’s a Democrat, what’s a Republican. They don’t have any concept of political bias built into them in any way. And we do hear this criticism from all sides. We also have people who come from more liberal backgrounds who complain about discrimination. And so I think that no matter who you are, we are trying to enforce our policies in a consistent way for everybody.’
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.