Google's Eric Schmidt Responds to Verizon, AT&T Pulling Ads From YouTube

Companies such as Verizon and AT&T have decided to pull ads from YouTube over extremist content in the video platform owned by Google.  Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and former Google Senior V.P. of Products Jonathan Rosenberg discuss how they are addressing the issue.

“What we do is, we match ads and the content, but because we source the ads from everywhere, every once in a while somebody gets underneath the algorithm and they put in something that doesn’t match.  We’ve had to tighten our policies and actually increase our manual review time and so I think we’re going to be okay,” Schmidt told the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.

Rosenberg explained that as Google has grown as a company its focus has shifted so it can better address these kinds of issues.

“What we’re focused on now is organizing around the CEOs who can have the kind of technical insights to build products that solve these kind of problems,” said Rosenberg.

Schmidt explained that YouTube’s enormous growth has made it a big responsibility and challenge to manage.

“YouTube for example went from about 100 million hours of watched per day, to one billion hours of YouTube watched globally per day, it’s an extraordinary platform and an extraordinary responsibility.”

According to Schmidt, it is possible for computers to solve the issue of dealing with extremist videos as well as fake news.

“My own view on most of this sort of extremist things as well as fake news in general is that it’s essentially a ranking problem.  We’re very good at detecting what’s the most relevant and what’s the least relevant.  It should be possible for computers to detect malicious, misleading and incorrect information and essentially have you not see it.”

Though Schmidt does not see this as censorship, saying, “We’re not arguing for censorship, we’re arguing just take it off the page, put it somewhere else.”

But Schmidt viewed it as a bigger issue with social media.

“It’s a big problem in social media in my view, the social media thinks in terms of links, not ranking right?  And there’s undifferentiated linkings, like I’m going to link to here and here and all of a sudden they’ve discovered they think that what they think is a woman who’s a passionate activist who’s in fact a computer right, run by the Russians or whatever stereotype you have.”