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Photo by — @simontartarotti

Are YouTube’s Algorithms Racist?

YouTube and Alphabet is facing a putative class action lawsuit

YouTube alleges its automated systems aren’t designed to identify race, however is that really true?

  1. LGTBQ YouTubers and alleges (among other things) that videos and channels with “gay,” “bisexual,” or “transgender” in the title are being unfairly targeted. At the time of filing, a YouTube spokesperson denied its systems restricted based on this criteria.

“Section 230(c) does not regulate or limit Plaintiffs’ primary conduct, such as their expressive activities. For example, Plaintiffs do not allege that Section 230(c) prevents them from creating videos or posting them on the Internet.”

As mentioned, section 230 was meant for moderation of what was found to be ‘objectionable’.

“Online platforms are engaging in selective censorship that is harming our national discourse.”

In this sense the President is arguing for his will to use hate speech or against selective censorship. Remember, if it was fair he would have been banned many times over, yet he is in this executive order targeting Section 230.

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Screenshot by author taken the 21st of June 2020.

What does a social media company do when a President refuses to show moderation? They moderate the President.

Twitter even had to mark an outright lie by Trump regarding the way the democratic process in the United States was to be conducted.

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If a lie damaging to the democratic progress of an entire country is perpetuated by the most powerful person in the given country, then should the tweet have been moderated to the point of deletion?

If we move back to the case of Black Lives Matter we may come back with more or less moderation despite the apparent injustice.

Written by

AI Policy and Ethics at Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own.

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