YouTube Keeps Boosting ‘Authoritative’ Mainstream Media Outlets Although Viewers Don’t Want To Watch Them, Says Susan Wojcicki

YouTube and its executives have made it evident during the past few years that when it comes to news and ongoing events, YouTube’s suggestion tools will boost official mainstream media channels while suppressing independent YouTube creators covering that specific news.

Susan Wojcicki, CEO YouTube stated during an interview on the NY Times’ ‘Rabbit Hole’ Podcast, that most users of the platform don’t like to view these dependable news sources. Still, YouTube will continue to boost these sources anyhow.

She decided to start prioritizing authentic mainstream media outlets in the wake of an unfortunate event, which was executed in Nice, France, during 2016 on July 14 (Bastille Day). Wojcicki stated that she thought users need to know about the attack and decided that users in France would see content related to the attack on the homepage. YouTube started to prioritize content from authentic sources when French people searched about the attack.

The company’s engineers warned Wojcicki that content from mainstream media channels was not getting that much engagement, and told her that users don’t actually want to view those mainstream ‘authoritative’ channels. Yet, she decided that YouTube will keep displaying videos to users from authentic sources. Wojcicki replied to the engineers that it is their duty to keep the users informed about what is happening in the world.

According to Wojcicki, it was the first time YouTube started pushing ‘relevant’ information to its users even if they didn’t want to view it. Authentic sources are now ten times more likely to top search results regarding any news since Wojcicki made this decision. While YouTube does not even suggest videos from independent YouTubers related to some news.

Even though users don’t want to view these authoritative sources, their views have been boosted by about 75% since the start of this year due to YouTube’s constant suggestions and promotion of these sources in search.

The COVID-19 news shelf, which pushes content from mainstream media channels onto YouTube users through the homepage, has been viewed more than ten billion times now. It shows how aggressively the platform is boosting these unpopular authentic mainstream media outlets.

According to Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer at YouTube, the platform will not be changing its approach towards who gets to cover any sort of news any time soon. Recent comments from Mohan also states that YouTube’s attitude towards independent YouTube content creators who cover any news will also not be changing in the near future.

Last month, Mohan, during an interview, stated that independent creators are not able to provide context on the news they are covering. Hence, it is necessary to suppress these creators ‘espousing’ judgments ‘in their basement.’

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