Controversial YouTube star Logan Paul doesn’t deserve to be kicked off the platform — at least not yet, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said today. Paul has been under fire since his trip to Japan, when he posted video of a person who committed suicide. YouTube has temporarily suspended advertising revenue on Paul’s account. But speaking at the Code Media conference in Huntington Beach, CA, Wojcicki said that Paul hadn’t met the criteria for being banned from the platform.
“He hasn’t done anything that would cause those three strikes,” Wojcicki said. “We can’t just be pulling people off our platform … They need to violate a policy. We need to have consistent [rules]. This is like a code of law.”
Wojcicki was responding to a question from interviewer Kara Swisher about why YouTube hadn’t simply banned Paul in response to his video from Japan, which he subsequently apologized for, and a later video in which he shot a Taser at a dead rat. It was not enough that a creator’s video is considered tasteless, Wojcicki said.
“What you think is tasteless is not necessarily what someone else would think is tasteless,” she said. “We need to have consistent laws, so that in our policies, so we can apply it consistently to millions of videos, millions of creators.”
Wojcicki’s comments reflect the increasing pressure YouTube has faced to remove offensive videos from the platform. Unilever, a major advertiser of consumer products, threatened to abandon “toxic” platforms earlier on Monday, saying it would avoid places that “do not make a positive contribution to society.”
YouTube has a “three strikes” policy that can result in a creator’s account being deleted if they repeatedly violate its rules. Prohibited behavior on the platform encompasses a wide range of activity, including copyright violations and violence. Until recently, however, the company has had less to say about videos that people simply find offensive or tasteless.
YouTube has faced criticism that the company applies its policies inconsistently, frequently sparing its more popular creators from punishment. Wojcicki disagreed with that characterization. “They might complain about that, but we try our very best to be consistent across everybody,” she said.
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