At SXSW 2018, YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki spoke with Wired Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Thompson about the company’s new approach to battling misinformation, the platform’s goals, and how YouTube has evolved as a result of the global creator economy during the Featured Session “Navigating the Video Revolution in the Digital Age” at the SXSW Conference.
YouTube as a company represents freedom of expression in the same way that the library system serves the public. However, YouTube strives to be more than just a digital video archive. The goal for YouTube is to be a “next-generation platform” with the broadest collection of content distributed globally.
“If there’s something that’s happening in the world, there’s an important event, we want to deliver the information.”
With over 1.5 billion users every month, Youtube is changing the face of entertainment around the world. But without the infrastructure to approve and disapprove content, YouTube has become a host for conspiracy theory videos and fake news. During her session, Wojcicki described the ongoing challenge in balancing YouTube’s responsibility for the content it hosts while allowing for freedom of expression on the platform. “What this year has really shown is that sometimes those freedoms [of expression] are in conflict with each other. The last year has shown us how important it is for us to get that right and to deliver the right information at the right time.”
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from Wojcicki and Thompson’s conversation at SXSW was the announcement that YouTube will be rolling out a new feature called ‘information cues’. In the coming weeks, YouTube users will see a text box on conspiracy-related videos that will link to Wikipedia articles offering alternative viewpoints. This new feature is the first step the media giant has taken towards mitigating the problem of fake news.
Watch the full video above to learn more about the platform’s changing role and how originality and innovation are redefining the media landscape starting with YouTube.
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