YouTube has a “social responsibility” to advance the greater good of humanity, according to public comments made by CEO Susan Wojcicki during a tech conference hosted by The New York Times in California.
“I think we have real responsibility. We take it seriously, in terms of understanding how our product is used, the implications” said Wojcicki, who went on to say that “making good decisions to make our products have a really positive impact around the world” should be a “guiding star” of the company.
Wojcicki was responding to a question from the host of a panel discussion, who asked Wojcicki and her co-panelist, BuzzFeed’s CEO, whether they thought social media companies ought to serve “the greater good of the nation or humanity.”
Earlier in the panel discussion, Wojcicki said that the alleged lack of diversity in tech was a problem, and stated that she was “glad” there was “more focus on it.”
“The fact that we don’t have women participating in [tech], or a lot of other diverse groups, I see as an issue for tech, that they’re not getting the best ideas.”
The comments from the CEO came a day before International Women’s Day, when YouTube made a concerted effort to push the “#HerVoiceIsMyVoice” trend.
This included a “spotlighted” YouTube video that appeared to exclusively promote progressive and Muslim women, including the anti-Trump Women’s March that took place in Washington D.C the day after the President’s inauguration.
Wojcicki’s preoccupation with “social responsibility” and diversity echo the values of progressive social media CEOs like Jack Dorsey of Twitter, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, and Steve Huffman of Reddit.
All three have moved their platforms away from their foundational commitments to largely unfettered free speech and towards a more sanitized, moderated experience with a labyrinthine array of rules to tackle “hate speech” and “harassment.”
This move towards social media censorship has often been pushed for, and applauded by, highly partisan groups that claim a commitment to “diversity.”