The CEO of Google-owned YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, recently urged world governments to pass stronger speech laws to restrict speech online deemed “harmful.” Her ominous message is that the path to “more control over online speech” is to pass laws that ignore the First Amendment.
Reclaim The Net reports that YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki stated during a recent interview with the Hamburg-based independent broadcaster TIDETVhamburg that the platform’s decision to censor legal content that it considers “harmful,” is considered controversial. Wojcicki further urged governments to take a stronger stance against harmful ideas and pass stronger speech laws. Wojcicki said: “Our recommendation, if governments want to have more control over online speech is to pass laws to have that be very cleanly and clearly defined so that we can implement it,” Wojcicki said.
Wojcicki was asked about how the platform navigates various national laws and advertiser rules when moderating online content. “We work around the globe, and you’re right, certainly there are many different laws and many different jurisdictions, and we…enforce the laws of the various jurisdictions around speech or what’s considered safe or not safe.”
Wojcicki continued to say that there has not been much controversy surrounding the company’s enforcement of these laws. She added that the controversy tends to arise when Google censors “harmful” but “not illegal” content, espeically content relating to the coronavirus.
She explained YouTube’s position on misinformation:
What has been the controversial part is when there is content that would be deemed as harmful but yet is not illegal. An example of that, for example, would be COVID.
I’m not aware of there being laws by governments saying around COVID in terms of not being able to debate the efficacy of masks or where the virus came from or the right treatment or proposal but yet there was a lot of pressure and concern about us distributing misinformation that went against what was the standard and accepted medical knowledge.
And so this category of harmful but…legal has been, I think, where most of the discussion has been.
The YouTube CEO has previously called on the U.S. government to offer guidance on “hate speech,” and largely has called for further government censorship — likely so that YouTube can pass on the responsibility of censoring content to governments, rather than admit that the company is censoring content based on its own policies.
Read more at Reclaim The Net here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address email@example.com