If you want your content to remain on social media forever, become a politician. At least that’s the message that Silicon Valley appears to be sending out.
YouTube has become the second platform this week to announce that it will not remove content posted by politicians, even if it violates the rules.
This mirrors an announcement made by Facebook’s Nick Clegg earlier this week at the Atlantic Festival in Washington DC. YouTube chief executive officer Susan Wojcicki made her announcement at the very same festival according to Politico.
“When you have a political officer that is making information that is really important for their constituents to see, or for other global leaders to see, that is content that we would leave up because we think it’s important for other people to see,” said Wojcicki.
The YouTube CEO explained that controversial content is more likely to be covered by the news and leaving that content up would provide context to the coverage.
However, what is unclear is how YouTube will deal with misinformation spread by politicians. Facebook, for its part, will include information that refutes misinformation on a politicians post and posts that clearly incite violence or hate towards a group of people or person will be removed.
This move from Facebook and YouTube muddies the water even more than it was. Many users worry about how special treatment is given to high-profile users, especially politicians.
For years now Donald Trump has used his Twitter profile to spread misinformation, hate and nonsense but his profile remains up to this day.
Of course this could be harmless and nothing untoward happens as a result but given that influence helped win the 2016 US elections we are worried that politicians are being given special treatment.