Bloomberg has an interesting long-form article about the horrible year YouTube has had when it comes to cleaning up content–including extremist videos and pornography–on its platform. The entire article is worth a read, but perhaps the best gem is a quote from Hany Farid, senior adviser to the Counter Extremism Project. The project works with tech companies to help eliminate child pornography and terrorist messaging on their platforms. But when it comes to YouTube owner Google, Farid says the search giant is the “least receptive” to prioritize safety over growth. Farid says no matter how many safety mishaps the company has, it acts freshly shocked:
“It’s like a Las Vegas casino saying, ‘Wow, we can’t believe people are spending 36 hours in a casino.’ It’s designed like that.”
Of course, Google probably sees things differently. Regardless, tech companies of all stripes are increasingly coming under pressure from governments around the world to get a grip on the dangerous content that is shared by users of its platforms.