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YouTube won’t ban politicians even if content violates company’s guidelines

YouTube won’t ban politicians from using its platform even if their content violates the company’s guidelines, CEO Susan Wojcicki said in a public interview on Wednesday, as reported by Politico.

Wojcicki spoke about how the platform approaches political figures during an interview session at The Atlantic Festival, suggesting that whatever they post is important for people to be aware of. She added that news outlets will report on material whether it’s removed or not, according to Politico, but having it remain up provides valuable context.

“When you have a political officer that is making information this is really important for their constituents to see, or for other global leaders to see, that is content that we would leave up because we think it’s important for other people to see,” Wojcicki said.

Nick Clegg, Facebook’s global affairs chief, made similar proclamations during an interview session at the same festival yesterday. Twitter has pledged to take a different approach, saying content that is posted by politicians or political figures won’t be removed because it’s of public interest, but it will be labeled as rule-breaking.

Questions about politicians breaking social media company’s guidelines have only increased following the election of President Trump, who has often been accused of spreading misinformation or inciting harassment on Twitter. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have all come under criticism from academics and journalists for not taking more action against high profile figures that break the company’s rules. YouTube in particular has faced harsh criticism for not doing more to remove borderline content from its platform — that is, videos that don’t technically break the company’s rules but are seen as harmful to society.

The company is working on revamping its rules around what is considered inappropriate content, and is set to make more policy announcements in the coming months.


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