YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki Apologizes To LGBTQ Community But Stands By Decision On Steven Crowder

Susan Wojcicki
Asa Mathat/Vox Media

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki apologized to the LGBTQ community during an appearance at a tech conference Monday but stood firm on the company’s decision not to suspend the account of right-wing personality Steven Crowder after investigations into anti-gay slurs he made on the platform against Vox journalist Carlos Maza.

The controversy came just ahead of the start of Recode’s annual Code Conference, which had booked Wojcicki for a panel Monday — Day 1 of the confab in Scottsdale, AZ.

YouTube did not remove Crowder’s content from the site in a decision Wojcicki reiterated today was because it found he did not “violate community guidelines on harassment.” A day later, though, YouTube did de-monetize Crowder’s account, where the CEO saying YouTube has a “higher standard for monetization.”

Some called the dual actions inconsistent; others called it backtracking.

“I am really personally sorry, and that was not our intent,” Wojcicki said onstage about the decision’s backlash. “At YouTube we have so many people from the LBGTQ community, and we really want to support this community, but we have to be consistent with our policies.”

Watch the full panel below.

Wojcicki did say that YouTube was “working to continue to be more transparent and explain why something in a violation of our policies or not.” But she was insistent the platform remain open to all creators, saying what bubbles up in the media is usually about negative content and that YouTube “would loses a lot of voices” if content was pre-screened before being published on the platform.

“We have lots of content that’s uploaded and lots of users and lots of really good content,” she said. “When we look at it, what all the news and the concerns and stories have been about is this fractional 1%. If you talk about what the other 99-point-whatever-that-number-is, that’s all really valuable content.”

She added: “Yes, while there may be something that slips through or some issue, we’re really working hard to address this.”

She said one idea is having more “trusted tiers,” where “not everything is automatically given to you on Day 1,” adding they are already implementing that idea with monetization policies.

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