Charlie: When trying to understand YouTube’s position, I liked Felix Salmon’s idea that platforms can do rules-based or principles-based enforcement. If you’re going to do rules-based, you need to have people trust the decisions that are handed down. They need to be transparent and consistent. YouTube has consistently undermined that trust with reversals. There is little consistency and even less transparency. So it fails at the first of two options. And, when it comes to principles, it’s either lacking or too afraid to express them publicly and alienate users.
The end result is that YouTube loses all trust, makes almost nobody happy and basically only empowers the worst actors by giving them more reason to have grievances. Even when YouTube does try to explain the logic to its rules, as it eventually did this week, it inadvertently lays out a map for how bad actors can sidestep takedowns, giving bad faith creators workarounds to harass or profit off bigotry. You know you’re in a real dark place when the good decisions YouTube makes are equally troubling.