YouTube CEO Says ‘Openness’ Is Essential, Even for ‘Offensive’ Content

“I believe that hearing a broad range of perspectives ultimately makes us a stronger and more informed society, even if we disagree with some of those views,” Susan Wojcicki says

YouTube chief Susan Wojcicki looked to stick a difficult landing in her quarterly letter to creators on Tuesday, saying the internet’s dominant video site remains dedicated to “openness,” while also continuing to diligently fight content that violates its rules.

“A commitment to openness is not easy. It sometimes means leaving up content that is outside the mainstream, controversial or even offensive,” Wojcicki wrote. “But I believe that hearing a broad range of perspectives ultimately makes us a stronger and more informed society, even if we disagree with some of those views.”

Wojcicki said being an open platform helps “foster community,” and pointed to a young Australian Youtuber that documents what it’s like to live with Tourette’s syndrome as one example.

At the same time, Wojcicki said enforcing YouTube’s guidelines allows for a “diversity of speech” and helps keep the platform accessible to the masses.

YouTube’s guidelines bar several types of videos, including “violent or gory content” and “hateful content,” which the company defines as promoting violence against people based on their “race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, nationality, veteran…

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Sean Burch

Tech reporter • sean.burch@thewrap.com • @seanb44