Everything in moderation: YouTube

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

This economists podcast is sponsored by linked in jobs. Hello and welcome to the intelligence on economist radio. I'm your host. Jason Palmer every weekday. We provide a fresh perspective on the events shaping your world. While gun deaths have dropped dramatically in big American cities such as New York and Los Angeles the murder rate in Chicago has remained stubbornly high spiking in two thousand sixteen a new program is working to reduce the violence by drawing lessons from west African research. And once upon a time in lands far far away there, lived kings and queens, lots of them these days there are far fewer monarchies in the world, but stories like this weekend's coronation of Thailand's, new king or big news. What made so many monarchies disappeared? And what's to be learned from those? They're left. But I. In two thousand and five when YouTube was new there wasn't much to see closely home, videos pratfalls and a few intrepid video bloggers since then it's become the free television service for much of the world. Now, it's owned by Google and more than two billion people. Visit the site at least once a month, the volume on offer of entertainment education information, and well wasted time this hard to fathom it would take a hundred thousand years to watch all of it. But with YouTube incredible growth have come the challenges of moderating the dark side of its content. We've just got the first message about the New Zealand massacre not long after began around eight PM at her home in northern California. Gutty Epstein is our media editor so these salts onto mosques in Christchurch had begun. Maybe fifteen twenty minutes earlier, the shooter had livestream that killings on Facebook and footage from Facebook was being shared on YouTube as the killer at clearly hoped MS Lewinsky is the CEO of you too. So she checked in with her team because she had an incident commander that was already at work at the time content reviewers around the world, the world's largest video platform was mobilized to cleanse itself of this Ariffin shooting video, but they failed before she went to bed at one AM, MS what just was still able to find the video new versions were being uploaded more quickly than they could be identified and taken down. And finally at six o'clock in the morning as she decided to remove all videos flag suspect without waiting for a human to look at it. That was a first for you too. So. I got to tell us about meeting her I met Susan with just key at the YouTube headquarters in San Bruno two times over the course of a week. I can probably imagine. And I just came back from Asia. I was in Korea Japan to talk about how YouTube is confronting these issues with content moderation. And so what was the response to that? I mean, how confidence is miss which is key. That's YouTube can handle the challenge. She expressed a surprising amount of confidence. I think in some ways I've trained for this my whole career, and I say surprising because I certainly don't think that that confidence is justified by recent performance in the last couple years. They seem to have been responding and reacting to problems that come up that are pointed out by journalists by activists, and exposed I by outsiders, and the platform has just grown way too big and unwieldy there's five hundred hours of new video uploaded every minute in all languages around the world that they need to have people who can speak the language in who can review videos that last for not just minutes, but sometimes hours, and then they have to shape rules around what kind of content they should allow and shouldn't all of that is such a massive challenge of this kind of scale that it strikes me that it's a bit foolhardy to be confident that you can. Solve this program. At least I think I can provide a blueprint about how to address these issues that no one else has figured out. And she uses the word solve I will solve it. And that would be a great legacy to leave. So I mean, a situation where I have to solve it will why. And how particularly does she think that she can solve it? Then if it is this this problem of such an enormous scale. I think the rhetoric that she uses is worryingly familiar if you've heard Mark Zuckerberg, maybe eighteen months ago, express, similar confidence about Facebook's ability to tackle this problem that it's going to take a it will take time. But that this this kind of thing can be solved. Now, Mark Zuckerberg has has backed off of that kind of rhetoric, and he is now decided to basically embrace government regulation and say can be rules of the road to play by. How does miss just feel about regulation herself? She. She says that she will comply and they do comply with whatever regulations governments come up with. And who would say, otherwise, right? What she says though, she's not waiting for regulators to fix this problem. We're trying to solve it now. And if regulation comes in, and they want to be specific about how they wanna talk like wool comply. We'll do our best to consult tell them over hardy down and comply. She also says they don't understand these companies and how they operate the way people inside these companies do they just don't have the know-how. So they wouldn't know precisely where to look and what to ask for there. Not also experts. They're they're not experts in these systems either. And so it's it's hard for them to know exactly what to tell us to do. They can only say things like have the content down within one hour or don't be in this category. Right. And but there's there's a lot in between that is really useful for us to do. And we're doing that. So she feels that the companies are best situated to fix the. Problem themselves that they have the know how and what they just have to do is build up the policies. Consult with experts tightened restrictions wisely. And then enforce it as she says fairly and consistently across the entire platform. And that of course would have to be with the help of artificial intelligence. And that's that's where you know. I think there's reason to question whether that's really even possible another one of the sticking points in in discussions around. The stuff has always been the degree to which you know, who gets to make decisions on what's allowed, and what's not. And how that sometimes crashes hard up against issues of free speech. What's miss would just feeling on that MS was just getting the end the other major Texier Silicon Valley take of you that the first amendment basically applies to their platforms. I mean, doesn't literally do so, but they believe that their platform should be opened for free expression. So and then they work backwards from there, you know, imposing restrictions on certain voices, especially as they become quite controversial. Just last week Facebook Instagram took this pretty big step of banning several big voices of the right, which is a step that they would have said a year ago that they don't wanna take because they want to allow free speech on their platforms, MS which is in the position now having decide whether to match that kind of decision, what's your view? Then what do you think you should be doing to to sort of dress these problems or get get out ahead of these problems? One of the reasons I really wanted to talk with these executives. I talked to Susan Witkin. I also talked to five other YouTube executives was to get a sense of whether they really want to rethink fundamentally their platform because of the fact that it's so difficult to manage it scale, do you allow everything to be uploaded by default and viewable by default by billions of people around the world and spread it outgrew, the Mickley recommendations the way they do. And it's quite clear that they have no intention of altering that fundamental business model, which of course. Generates quite a lot of revenue estimated to have taken in maybe close to seventeen billion dollars last year. There are questions that critics rate is like should content be reviewed before it's uploaded directly to the platform that kind of call would really change how you to and these other platforms work and a fundamental way that we have not confronted, and I'm not suggesting that that's the solution. But we should be open to the idea that maybe we haven't gone about this the right way. Thank you very much for joining us. Great to be with you. The right hire can make a huge impact on your business. And with seventy percent of the US workforce on linked in posting on linked in is the best way to get your job opportunity in front of more of the right people. Find the people who are qualified for your role and ready for something. New to get started head to link dot com slash intelligence and get fifty dollars off your first job post. That's linked in dot com slash intelligence to get fifty dollars off your first job post, Lincoln dot com slash intelligence. Terms and conditions apply. Policy responses to social problems can sometimes come from unexpected places. Recently. The city of Chicago has been taking some lessons from war torn Africa on how to deal with violent crime. She has seen some of the worst on violence in America in the pulse. Twenty years alone over fourteen thousand people have been murdered Adam Roberts is midwest. Correspondent as a big city. There is no place in America that has client the level of violence that you see in Chicago last year, for example, more people were killed in Chicago than in Los Angeles and New York combined. We're in the state of emergency in my community. We got a babies dying every day, this enorm- you hear gunfire. It's a norm. They his sobbing because there's nothing else for them to do. The rate of shooting in this city. You can go through the roof and in two thousand sixteen it was a specially bad. In two thousand sixteen Chicago saw a huge upsurge in gun violence. There were seven hundred sixty two murders that year an increase of fifty eight percent on the prior year. The reasons remain unclear. In the aftermath of that terrible year. The city experts Don profit groups, they got together to try to think what can the city do to bring the violence down and one idea that academe IX and experts put forward was to take a lesson from the west African state of Liberia which had suffered from fifteen years of civil war. And to say is this something you can learn from the young men who came out of that wall and who were taught to be less violent. So tell me about the research that came out of Liberia, well, the my Marion scheme began organically, it was a effort by young activists to work with these former soldiers and to give them some training in how to live a normal life that evolved into an academic study or about a thousand young men were recruited some of them were given cash. Some of them were given training and skills and others will give them both. And then they were studied for a year. And the researchers found that those who can given a little bit of cash and some training where the least likely to be. Involved in crime year later, and so how does that manifest then in Chicago program, some Chicago, these nonprofits to program called ready and ready works as in Liberia with the young men seemed to be the most at risk of turning to violence, and they were approached and asked do you want to have the chance to learn some basic skills and to have a job and a thousand of them roughly were brought in seven hundred km participants and for the past eighteen months ready has been lurking with these young men to try to teach them how to resist when someone provokes them the sort of basic skills. The bull get him to move away from pulling triggers, and you met some of the participants in the program. What did they tell you about their lives before the program? So I spent time on the south side of Chicago in the basement of YMCA where these guys meet, and I sat down with some of them one young man told me about the terrifying violence that is just a daily occurrence in his life. On show. Rob being the face today later. Sharma pillar born in into. She got shot at times easily in one incidence. He told me about how he was shot, and he even died and was brought back to life by medics. Does she saw did they can't work? One in law and my little one, and they still live in constant fear for their lives. One young man told me he was so concerned about being shot that even brings to guns to bed with him at night, you going on you. What the fuck two girls. Two. You got two guns. All your man to them. Wanna be? And so what do these these men want for their lives? Now, many talk about just wanting to have a peaceful life to have normal functioning life mas- while Waco, a low. These men no way, go Sam family smile. Actually, they actually happen. Not happy. You know what I'm saying? He knows eight just as once attained. I just wanna do some good. I said. Said one of the big attractions of the ready scheme is the chance for them to get a regular honest income and the opportunities they getting really inspire some of them. They're really hopeful that they can move out. And so it seems clear to you that the ready program is making a difference for them. We'll Yanic does they give me suggests that they aren't finding new ways to function on the streets and new opportunities that take them beyond this violent path. One of the ten leaks is really about controlling the temper, this is summed up as something called CAD or cat, which stands for control old delete, which is control your temper, and essentially alter your behavior and woman, I spoke to gave me a great example of how he used the technique of CAD when he was robbed by some gunman their moment catches problem into my airline. No, I know wash it like Joe old leaf awfully awfully value with the situation roof as I did. And I'm just like it were. Worked like, no illegi word. I you say. Not only did he say probably say near to this is hard. Think of. He was amazingly excited that he had saved his life. And he had been able to get me on violence as a tool for dealing with confrontation. I mean, it seems clear that the programs made a difference at least for some of these people that you spoken to. But, but what about more broadly would we know about the program's sort of overall success? What we don't know we won't know until the end of this year is statistically, whether it is made them safer made the city safer than is. Otherwise would have been already within the ready group five young men have been killed in the past eighteen months as a control group of young men who are also being monitored who are not part of the ready program, and they'll be a comparison role and see who has the best outcomes of the end of the year. And what about the surgeon murders from twenty sixteen has the homicide rates stayed high has changed at all. Well, luckily for Chicago, the home aside right has fallen in the last two years and nobody's exactly sure why that might partly because of the efforts like ready to bring down the rate, they're all sorts of other possible explanations. But the trends are getting better in Chicago. But not near as good as big cities, like New York in Los Angeles. Well, why is that though I mean? That seems like a problem that has been more directly addressed and and successfully so in places like New York and Los Angeles. Why is it still such a problem in Chicago? The problem of Congo depends on who you ask when I taught around the manual, the outgoing mayor he blames it all on the availability of guns come in from the rest of it in in from neighboring states, but others say in fact, the greater problem is that the city just hasn't taken violence seriously enough one crucial example of this is that Chicago only very recently set up a dedicated office to bring the violence down, whereas New York and Los Angeles for many years of had a centralized system. Chicago is neglected that. And people say the reason is is such segregated city and the violence mostly affects African Americans. And if you look at the statistics, Chicago has lost over two hundred thousand African Americans who have fled the city since the beginning of the century and most of their fleeing the violence and the accusation against people like Rahm Emanuel. Is he didn't take that concern seriously enough? Adam thanks very much for your time. Thank you. This weekend. Thailand coronated king Maha Fisher along corn. But it wasn't just a celebration. It's also potentially a turning point for the monarchy. The king's father was known for his thoughtful, quiet leadership. King along corn by contrast has had a lurid personal life and quirky rule. As crown prince he made his poodle, foo foo and Air Chief Marshal, meanwhile in Britain, the duchess of Sussex previously known as Megan Markle and her husband Prince, Harry will have their first child any day now, the British and Thai Royal families are changing each in its own way. Invent monarchy today, and it's a pretty absurd system number Dunkin is social policy at its at the economist at the core of it. You got succession shrew inheritance through the family, and that's a system that really seems more likely to produce people with congenital defects than intelligent figure. Heads for the nation. I mean after all monarchy is based in many monarchy's will only have male as its classes, and it's pretty racist. Because most of the monarchy's in western countries are white families. So it's not a system that is in tune with modern times tool and given all that how did monarchy as a as an institution make it through the twentieth century with the world changing around it. Well, if this one on his only just because monarchy, particularly true Europe, crumble desert Zell to revolutions and wars threat the twentieth century so about than there will always be. If you were if you're monarchy's until there are non you think? No because empty interesting happened this century, which is the decline has has stalled. So through the twentieth century, you get this collapse. And then it bottoms out. So there's a capital go this century Samoa Nebi noticed. Napoles? There was a murderous prince who killed nine members of his family, and the whole thing collapsed after that but side from that we seem to have seem to reach a stable point where we have fully full monarchy's left in the world. So how to those monarchies manage to survive mostly by giving up power? So in developed countries, the monarchy's that survive are constitutional monarchy's that are almost entirely powerless, and then some others kung on in the Gulf, for instance, because they have lots of money, and they could pay they could pay their populations generous welfare handouts to the population to keep them happy, and they could pay for a hefty well-paid security forces to keep brightest then and one of the reasons that we don't see any further decline. I believe is that democracy has has hit a rocky. Patch? So through the twentieth century, it seemed that democracy was the end of history of like Francis Fukuyama put it, but as we know many parts of the world democracy has encountered difficulties monarchy's looking kind of not such bad option in those sects, for instance, in the Arab spring, the monarchy's did better than the republic's. Not just the rich ones in the Gulf. But also Morocco in Jordan, you say skilled people, but must necessarily be sort of benevolent people would never been rulers. Yeah. The character of of the Mona cts and attitudes the role, I think he's pretty crucial. So if you look Japan and Britain Yuka, two minutes who've been on the throne for decades, and who if you like subsume their own interest, very clearly in into those of the institution and then nation and indeed the late tie. King too. Although his political position was more powerful because of the strange relationship with the military and therefore more contentious if you like he has an individual was revered by his people, he was very religious, very moral guy. And we go run the countryside inspecting rural development programs, and he was widely dude by the people, and that's not something that you see in his successor. Who is to be Kranj shortly who doesn't even live in Thailand, he lives in Germany. He has mistresses and illegitimate children scattered around the world and his exploits have been shared on social media, and in a very quietly because ties on understandably scared of Liz measures to laws which often, you know. Lead to jail sentences very quietly there is there's discontent muttered in Thailand about his behavior and questions really being raised about how long this this institution will survive in charge of somebody like him rather than his father will what about the broader question of how many monarchy's the world will see the the sort of decline has stalled do you think do you think that's the sort of the baseline amount of monarchy in the world. Baseline a main monarchy in the world if the incumbent monarchs manage their positions. Well, it's an incredibly difficult job to do. We've had some people who really knew their business and those who don't know their business. They will lose their jobs and the institutions will crumble, Emma. Thank you very much for joining us. Very well. That's all for this episode of the intelligence if you like us give a rating on apple podcasts, and you can subscribe to the economist at economist dot com slash radio offer, twelve issues for twelve dollars or twelve pounds. See Becker tomorrow.

Coming up next