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Snippet of People I (Mostly) Admire: “Hey, Let’s Go Buy Youtube!”

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Last Played: December 31, 2020
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Listen now to an audio snippet of “Het, Let’s Go Buy Youtube!” from People I (Mostly) Admire. Google once based in her garage and now she's the C.E.O. of its subsidiary.
Steve Levitt, the iconoclastic University of Chicago economist and co-author of the Freakonomics book series, tracks down other high achievers and asks questions that only he would think to ask. Guests include all-time Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings, Harvard psychologist and linguist Steven Pinker, and top literary agent Suzanne Gluck.
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Quad Club at the University of Chicago with a bunch of other economists, including some Nobel Prize winners. And honestly, we almost never agreed on anything. But all of us collectively agreed 100% around the room that that was the stupidest business move that had ever been made in the history of mankind and history has proven 15 years later, that actually was probably the opposite. I might have been the single best acquisition of all time, but that's probably why we're sitting in the factory club and why you're running YouTube now, which you took over the CEO in 2014. And let me just start by saying that YouTube is amazing. People watch a billion hours of content on the site a day, and that's a level of success that I think even the model you were building back in an hour when you did the acquisition probably never imagined that kind of success. But of course, with that success comes all sorts of responsibilities and challenges. You probably never imagined either like hate speech and terrorism, misinformation, foreign governments trying to influence elections. I mean, basically now YouTube and Facebook and Twitter are essentially blamed for every problem that exists in the world and the critics, they're screaming, you know? Why don't you just fix these things? So I'm guessing it's not that simple. These air hard problems and the reality is that as hard as you try, it's just not realistic to think that you're just gonna fix these problems. Is that a fair assessment? Well, I think we have been focused on this area. We call it responsibility or trust in safety and we have been really focused on it. I'd say we started around 2016. That's maybe really where the light bulb started to go off, that we needed to make a lot of changes and have implemented a lot of changes across our entire system that I think have made a huge difference and we'll continue to improve them will continue to staff them. But I think if you look at the systems that we had then versus what they are now, it shows that we have been able to respond really quickly and our systems are built in a way to make sure that we can deliver trusted results for our users. And during co vid I was so grateful for those years and years of work because we were able to so quickly have accurate information for our users. And that was all do thio the work that we had done over the last couple of years. So, you know, of course, they'll always be some new loophole that, you know somebody will figure out. And we'll close that loophole. Yeah. I mean, that's the nature of adversarial interactions is you fix one thing and the bad guys go and try and break a new thing. But somehow, even more fundamentally, I think, as I watched the debate over the tech space that you're being asked to make decisions that even in the best of cases, governments have difficulty times making. I just find it odd that there's, you know, these air companies that were founded in basements and in garages 25 years ago. And now the executives are being asked to make fundamental decisions about life in society, which I think it's just kind of, you know, you can't possibly be equipped to do so in general, cos hate the idea of being regulated, But would you actually welcome more regulation because that would kind of put the onus for these, I would say essentially impossible decisions on governments instead of you is the executive. Gosh, I have a lot of different thoughts in this area. I mean, first of all, I would be much easier right if there was some regulation and we just said, Hey, we're just, you know, complying with the current rules that would simplify everything for us. On the other hand, as a private company, we can actually make in many ways much more detailed, fine grained and really thoughtful decisions in this area. And you look at something like co vid, right? So there were new conspiracies that were coming up, you know, almost every week. Like, you know, five G causes the symptoms of Cove. It is not a virus, right? And so would the government be able to respond quickly enough to be able to come up with the right set of requirements? I'm not really sure. And I also think there's something good about having multiple companies come up with different perspectives on this and that we're trying to as much as possible to balance all the different needs of the constituents around is really important and tough topics s so much public hatred of Facebook and Twitter and personal Emini Really towards Mark Zuckerberg Show Samberg. Jack Dorsey. Why do you think you basically are completely off the hook on that? How come you don't get lumped in with other folks? Well, I mean, YouTube in many ways serves a few really important functions. You know, During Cove it we served over 400 billion impressions related Thio.
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