At San Francisco’s Code Con conference for hackers and techies on Monday night, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki was grilled by Axios reporter Ina Fried about the company’s response after reporter Carlos Maza published a series of tweets which exposed a campaign of homophobic and racist harassment against him by right-wing commentator Steven Crowder on the platform.
After first announcing that Crowder’s harassment did not violate YouTube policies, the platform grudgingly made a rule change, but many remain dissatisfied, including Maza.
Said a stumbling Wojcicki: “I’m really personally very sorry. It was not our intent. Our goal was…YouTube has always been a home of so many LGBTQ creators and that’s why it was so emotional and that’s why I think this really…even though it was a hard decision it was made harder that it came from us because we’ve been such an important home, and even though we made this decision which I’m going to get into a little more with your question…but…the same…YouTube…we’ve so many people [on] YouTube from the LGBTQ community, and we’ve always wanted to support the community in spite of this hard issue that we’ve had right now.”
“So I’m just saying people have gotten a lot of criticism, like ‘why did you change your logo to rainbows even though you made this hard decision and that’s because as a company we really want to support this community.,” she continued. “It’s just that from a policy standpoint we need to be consistent because if we, look, if we took down that content there would be so much other content that we would need to take down.”
Wojcicki added: “We don’t want to just be knee-jerk we need to think about it in a very thoughtful way, be able to speak with everyone, we’ll speak to people from the LGBTQ community, make sure we’re incorporating that going forward in terms of how we think about harassment and make sure that we’re implementing that in a fair and consistent way going forward. It was a hard week across the board and I am truly, truly sorry for the hurt that we caused that community. It was not our intention at all. Not that I want to take away from the hurt or the challenge of what happened this week but I do want to let you know that many of the changes that we made in the hate policy which is a different set of policies we think will be really beneficial for the LGBTQ community. And there are a lot of videos there, and a lot of ways that community is attacked where we will be taking down those videos going forward.”