Video Of The Week: Peter Kafka's Interview With YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki
Peter Kafka interviewed YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki at the Recode Conference last week.
It’s an interesting discussion about many of the issues facing YouTube and the Internet at large right now.
YouTube but never YourTube.”whack a mole” – precisely.Why not allow content creators the opportunity to take full responsibility for their content, and face any consequences before the law?Susan is batting on a very sticky wicket.
we started a terrible precedent with arguing – almost without challenge – that Russian bots are should be banned.
Setting ground rules for 4 billion people with a mike and a camera ain’t easy. It’s definitely Wild West and the majority of criticism of YouTube seems unwarranted. The Chief Justice is the United States once said something to the effect of you don’t need to define pornography – once you see it you’ll know it. It’s a little harder to call when you are talking about politics.
She’s really bright and smooth on social and political issues. If Congress calls her to testify about the “tech monopoly”, then she will be a good witness for Google.The newsie kept trying to describe the YouTube problem of filtering as impossible to solve short of some jury deliberation on each submitted video before it was posted. Simplistic thinking. She was much smarter than that. E.g., it’s really a 1% problem. Her “tiers of trust”, etc. cut the problem down some more. For more, use their thousands of reviewers. For more, use “the wheel that squeaks gets the grease” or “or if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it”.On the issue of “radicalization”, there is an easier answer: In the past, some guy, even a wack-o, out nearly alone in some very sparsely populated area would have few good sources of ideas to get radicalized with much effect. But now YouTube and Google provide MUCH more information than was common or even possible before, say, the Internet. So, some such wack-os, with so much more information, have more opportunities to change to something different, maybe more/less compassionate, liberal/conservative, peaceful/violent, whatever. Yes, a little more generally, we all have to learn to apply severe filters to content from the media: E.g., nearly everything in the mainstream media is just smelly bait for the ad hook or paid propaganda put there by and for special interests. “Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see and still believe twice too much.”Yes, still more generally, commonly even some of the best things have some bad side effects or unintended consequences — the oceans of information now on the Internet are now bringing examples.Her remarks about recommendation were curious: I suspect that she and YouTube are looking to academic computer science for that technology — way wrong shelves in the library to look in, way wrong pond to fish in!For my startup, my solution to the severe problem of content quality is to stay far away from anything questionable, far from any boundaries. So, I want the content to be “safe for work, families, and children”. So, I can reject nearly anything with even tiny flaws as “not safe for children”.Broadly it appears that the Internet has some just terrific content, e.g.,https://www.youtube.com/wat…but remarkably little as good as that example. Yes, the really bad stuff is 1% of all the content. Of some importance, the content as good as that example is also 1% or so but a very different 1%. E.g., in that video theYou bring sweet hope instead. is one of the crown jewels of art and civilization — yup, the audience got that one right away!And notice the ad demographics: Private jet services! Hmm!So, she has been with Google for 20 years. From her left hand, it appears she is married. As smart as she is, she should make a great wife and mother. I hope that in her rise in Google she has also been good at being a wife and mother.
When there is no cost of “send” or “resend” (which includes sharing, commenting, liking, etc…) then all the risk is on the receiver in a given transaction. (A response or resend or comment or like is a separate (second) transaction and the sides are reversed). It’s so surprising that people haven’t fully understood that many of the accepted social norms in the analog world (along with physical cost of “sending” something) that make the risk more symmetric should be mimicked in the digital world. All of which is to say that we need “settlements” between actors, networks, institutions, etc… that force the sender to assume some cost (risk) in a transaction. The internet as a “settlement-free” peering model is fundamentally flawed.