YouTube, A clear indicator of our toxic dependence on social media
Google-owned YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki announced that the video platform has 1.8 billion registered users viewing the channel every month. This number did not include those viewers who watch videos without registering with the platform. The announcement, a milestone for YouTube, was made in a presentation to advertisers.
YouTube’s innings in the past one year has not been very impressive and despite this, it has broken the internet several times. According to The Verge major milestones for YouTube were when it struck 41 million live stream views of Beyonce at Coachella or Despacito music video which crossed 5 billion views. Its dominance, one can safely say, has remained uncontested.
In 2017, YouTube was often targeted for allowing videos related to hate speech, promotion of gun violence or conspiracy theories to stay on the platform. While creation of content does not lie in the hands of the platform, removing such content sure does.
In 2018, Logan Paul met with backlash for uploading a video about Japan’s Suicide forest which showed footage of dead people. Paul was recorded to be laughing at them. YouTube did not respond for ten days until it finally broke its silence and removed him much later from Google Preferred Program.
Similarly earlier this week, New York Times in a report had shown how family-friendly videos had violent and obscene content in them. What’s even worse is that the children were exposed to this through YouTube Kids.
YouTube has been saying that such content is sent to the reviewers. In case of YouTube Kids app, it was decided that the videos will either have age-restriction or it would be removed from the app.
To manage content which is being viewed by 1.8 billion people every month is a huge responsibility. According to a Verge report, Wojcicki acknowledged the problem within YouTube in terms of content, but is yet to hire 10,000 content reviewers.
It is strange how even though problems with social media channels such as YouTube and Facebook keep cropping up, our toxic dependence on them remains as strong as ever.