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Science & Tech

YouTube Says It Has a ‘Responsibility’ To Manipulate Algorithms Leading Up to 2024 Election

by Reclaim The Net
March 31st 2024, 9:59 am
YouTube has a plan to remove and suppress some content, and boost what it decides are "authoritative" sources.
Image Credit:
Didem Mente/Anadolu via Getty Images
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“Responsibility” is a good word. It’s even better as an actual thing. But even just as a word, it’s a positive one. It signals that reliable people/entities are behind some project, or policy.

So no wonder then, that the thoroughly disgraced Google/YouTube – as far as censorship and biased political approach – are trying to use the word “responsibility” as a narrative fig leaf to cover what the giant platform is actually up to – and has been, for a long while.

Enter, YouTube’s newest chief product officer, Johanna Voolich. What are the priorities here? It could be summed up as, four R’s and One C – namely, YouTube’s “remove, raise, reward, reduce” content approach – that’s as per a blog post published by YouTube itself.

And then, C would be speculative, for “censorship” – which is what these supposedly fair and “uplifting” actions in reality end up achieving.

If you thought any of this could be achieved by YouTube without “boosting authoritative content” – think again. That is still a solid pledge, regurgitated by Voolich.

And if you thought somebody would finally come out and clearly spell out how, and according to whose definition, content gets to be dubbed “authoritative” or otherwise – just don’t hold your breath.

The sum total is that YouTube has a new product manager, but that nothing has changed.

Certainly not in this year of election.

And while Voolich made perfunctory references to creators benefiting from new features, and even being heard (via feedback), they also learn that when that’s convenient, AI is advertised as a tool to “empower creativity.” (Otherwise, AI is denounced as a scourge to democracy itself.)

But when all that’s said, there’s the overarching issue of YouTube’s “responsibility.” To do what, you might wonder – give its users/creators the best tools and opportunities – or act as proxy campaigner for a certain political and ideological option, in the US, but also, elsewhere in the world?

YouTube’s self-professed “4 R’s of responsibility” may or may not provide some insight into what the answer to that serious question might be.

R1 – “Remove content that violates our policy as quickly as possible.”

R2 – “Raise up authoritative voices when people are looking for breaking news and information.”

R3 – “Reward trusted, eligible creators and artists.”

R4 – “Reduce the spread of content that brushes right up against our policy line.”

And that, right there, is a solid foundation for continued, effective “C” – Censorship.


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