Monday, 25 January 2021

YouTube needs ‘new set of rules and laws’

PARIS: The video-sharing platform YouTube is striving to block those who would use it to promote racism, hate speech, violence and disinformation, its number two executive has told AFP, as the Google-owned company comes under increasing scrutiny.

“YouTube has now grown to a big city. More bad actors have come into place. And just like in any big city, you need a new set of rules and laws and kind of regulatory regime,” chief product officer Neal Mohan said in an interview.

Rising public pressure on YouTube and other social media platforms has prodded them to try and limit the negative aspects, lest governments clamp down with more stringent regulation.

Media reports said last week that the American tech giant Google had reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission over alleged violations of children’s data privacy laws on YouTube.

YouTube and other platforms have also been seen as havens for conspiracy theorists denying Holocaust or the September 11 attacks, as well as for Nazi and white supremacist groups.

“We must adapt to make sure that those things don’t become rampant on our platform,” Mohan said.

YouTube said in June that it would ban videos promoting or glorifying racism and discrimination as well as those denying well-documented violent events, like the Holocaust.

“Two billion users come to the platform every single month,” Mohan noted, “so we must take our responsibility as a platform incredibly seriously.”

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