custom content creation

YouTube spent time last week at the center of culture war issues.

YouTube has spent the past week at the center of cultural issues. First, a former employee filed a suit alleging the Alphabet Inc. subsidiary stopped hiring white and Asian men for technical positions last year. Then the company weighed into a custom content creation fight by cracking down on videos from conspiracy theorists.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the lawsuit was filed by a former recruiter. The Journal reports:

YouTube last year stopped hiring white and Asian males for technical positions because they didn’t help the world’s largest video site achieve its goals for improving diversity, according to a civil lawsuit filed by a former employee.

The lawsuit, filed by Arne Wilberg, a white male who worked at Google for nine years, including four years as a recruiter at YouTube, alleges the division of Alphabet Inc.’s GOOGL 1.19% Google set quotas for hiring minorities. Last spring, YouTube recruiters were allegedly instructed to cancel interviews with applicants who weren’t female, black or Hispanic, and to “purge entirely” the applications of people who didn’t fit those categories, the lawsuit claims.

A Google spokeswoman said the company will vigorously defend itself in the lawsuit. “We have a clear policy to hire candidates based on their merit, not their identity,” she said in a statement. “At the same time, we unapologetically try to find a diverse pool of qualified candidates for open roles, as this helps us hire the best people, improve our culture, and build better products.”

On the custom content creation controversy, the New York Times reports:

YouTube this week cracked down on the videos of some prominent far-right actors and conspiracy theorists, continuing an effort that has become more visible since the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., last month caused a torrent of misinformation to be featured prominently on the site.

A week after the shooting, many of the videos on YouTube’s “Trending” list contained misinformation about the teenage survivors of the shooting. The top video on the list for some time falsely claimed that a student at the school, David Hogg, was a paid actor.

That video and others like it led to intense criticism of the site. Since then, many prominent right-wing personalities have reported that YouTube has issued them strikes, which the site uses to enforce its community guidelines. If a channel receives three strikes within three months, YouTube terminates it.