Robert Kyncl, the head of business at YouTube, has said that the company’s recent cull of alt-right video content is not an indicator of political alignment.
“We have four freedoms under which YouTube operates: freedom of expression, freedom of opportunity, freedom to belong and freedom of information. They truly become our North Star during difficult times,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
“Our message is that we absolutely are leaning in to freedom of information and freedom of expression, subject to our community guidelines. We don't intend to be on one side or another.”
When pressed on the heat the video service has faced both from creators and from advertisers, Kyncl added: “Advertisers were not happy with us and creators were not happy with us because they both thought we were favouring the other. That was not a great place for YouTube.
“But we were doing everything that we could for advertisers and everything that we could for creators, all at the same time. We've done the absolute human best that we possibly could. We have a tremendous group of people all around Google who have been working on these things, day and night, through holidays, et cetera. If I had to go back, we couldn't have done it differently. It's all just hindsight.”
Kyncl also touched upon Logan Paul, whom he appeared to speak of quite sympathetically: “His [suicide forest] video was regrettable and our hearts went out to the family of the individual in it, but it did not violate policies.
“We issued a strike, in accordance with our process. We also put all of [Paul’s] original projects on hold. We took him out of Google Preferred. We took several steps to disincentivize that kind of behaviour. The subsequent demonetization came because of repeated behaviour. He's been cooperative in the process and making sure that his videos and his behaviour support the whole creator ecosystem.
“We should have done better. We were fast on our PR response, but we were slow on our social response. I think that is what we got flagged for — and rightly so.”
Kyncl added that the action taken against Paul “is a good indicator” of YouTube's future strategy.