Wednesday, April 10, 2019
There is a question whether Google understands the nature of hate speech on its YouTube platform, even as the company says it is controlling it. It is a reputational issue that surfaced again during testimony before Congress titled, "Hate Crimes and the Rise of White Nationalism." Google live streamed the testimony before the House Judiciary Committee and unaccountably opened a live chat feed. The chat feed was swiftly overrun with hate speech, anti-semitic jibes and slurs. Google moved to cut it off but the damage was done. The contention is that even a casual observer could have predicted the outcome. Why couldn't Google? Is it possible that Google's penchant for openness is working against it? Or is the company afraid it will be accused of censorship? Whatever the answer, it was clear that Google has yet to control hate speech on YouTube, even though that was the point of its testimony.