YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki apologized Monday to people who were offended that the company did not harshly punish conservative pundit Steven Crowder for using gay slurs in his videos.
“I know the decision we made was very hurtful to LGBTQ community,” Wojcicki said during a Code Conference. “That was not our intention at all.” She was responding to a question from a reporter who wanted to know if the company was genuinely sorry if people were offended that YouTube did not outright ban Crowder.
“I am really personally very sorry,” Wojcicki added in her lengthy apology before trying to explain why the company does not regret its decision. “If we took down that content, there would be so much other content that we would have to take down.”
“Are you really sorry for anything that happened to the LGBTQ community? Or are you just sorry they were offended?”
"Are you really sorry for anything that happened to the LGBTQ community? Or are you just sorry they were offended?"
— Recode (@Recode) June 10, 2019
Google employees are also criticizing the platform for failing to ban Crowder, a comic and commentator who has repeatedly posted videos referring to Vox journalist Carlos Maza as a “gay Mexican.” Employees are dinging YouTube, a Google subsidiary, for not curbing harassment and abusive language directed at the LGBTQ community.
“It’s hard to put my shoes on everyday and go to work when I don’t think the company I work for supports my identity,” an anonymous Google engineer told Business Insider on June 3. The employees’ comments come as a group of Google workers calling themselves “Googlers Against Hate” tweeted accusations that YouTube is harming gay people.
YouTube changed many of its policies after the dust-up. The company announced on June 7 that it would start suspending content that “repeatedly brush up against our hate speech policies,” a move that would effectively demonetize many content creators.
The changes apparently affected several YouTubers who use the platform to broadcast educational content. One Twitter user calling himself Mr. Allsop History noted in a tweet thread Wednesday that YouTube dinged him for hate speech. Allsop’s channel has since been restored.
A video Southern Poverty Law Center published was among those nixed after YouTube announced plans Wednesday to remove videos and content that promote white supremacy. Journalist Max Blumenthal lashed out at the company after the video, which reports on Holocaust denialism, was pulled for violating the new policy.