The Crowder controversy is the latest in a series of missteps and challenges for the world’s largest video site. Wojcicki and other YouTube executives and managers have been criticized for lettingfalse, extreme and toxic content flourish as they chased user “engagement.” Conservatives have accuse YouTube of suppressing political speech, and some politicians have defended Crowder.
On Monday, Wojcicki said she watched some of Crowder’s videos and was involved in the decision making but didn’t review all the clips.
Removing his videos, or banning Crowder from YouTube, would have put the company in a difficult situation, with millions of people asking “what about this one?” for hundreds of comedy, hip-hop and late-night TV-show videos, the CEO said.
A video has to be malicious for it to be taken down from YouTube for harassment. “For right or wrong, malicious is a high bar for us,” Wojcicki said.
She was also asked about the U.S. government’s recent decision to consider an antitrust investigation of Google, the owner of YouTube, and calls by some politicians to break up the company.
The CEO said online video is competitive, with many different services. Being a part of Google gives YouTube the technology and data to deal with its problems, she added.
What would YouTube do if Google did end up being broken up?
“We’ve been really busy this week,” Wojcicki said. “I don’t know. I mean, we would figure it out.”