YouTube Says Homophobic Teasing Doesn’t Violate Its Policies

YouTube Says Homophobic Teasing Doesn’t Violate Its Policies

YouTube is a confusing mess of an internet platform. In what appears to be a moment that draws a line in the sand about how online platforms regulate content, YouTube told a gay reporter that the homophobic harassment it received from a prominent conservative channel does not violate its policies.

The company told Vox reporter Carlos Maza that comments from Steven Crowder, who has more than 3.8 million subscribers, that focus on his sexuality and ethnicity are within its rules. The Google-owned video platform, which claims two billion monthly users, said on Twitter that it spent “the last few days” investigating a complaint filed by Maza, who alleges that Crowder provoked it with racist and homophobic comments.

However, despite admitting that Crowder used “language that was clearly hurtful,” the company said the show has operated within its limits. That means the videos remain on the site, and Crowder’s channel will not be punished.

Here’s what the company told Maza on Twitter in its entirety:

(1/4) Thank you again for taking the time to share all of this information with us. We take allegations of harassment very seriously, we know this is important and affects many people.

(2/4) Our teams spent the last few days conducting an in-depth review of the videos that were flagged to us, and while we found clearly damaging language, the videos as posted do not violate our policies. We have included more information below to explain this decision:

(3/4) As an open platform, it is crucial for us to allow everyone from creators to journalists to late-night TV hosts to express their views on the scope of our policies. Reviews can be deeply offensive, but if they don’t violate our policies, they will remain on our site.

(4/4) Even if a video remains on our site, it does not mean that we endorse / support that point of view.

There are other aspects of the channel that we are still evaluating. We will be in touch with any additional updates.

When contacted for comment, YouTube referred TechCrunch to their tweets but made additional color. A spokesperson said Crowder had asked viewers not to harass Maza, while saying the YouTube host had not disclosed his personal information.

That’s true, but as a sign of the complexity of online communities, Crowder fans made doxx Maza last year. That resulted in a flood of messages demanding that the Vox reporter “debate” with Crowder.

“It makes life miserable. “I wasted a lot of time blocking the evil Crowder fanboys, and this shit derails your sanity.” Maza wrote.

Meanwhile, Crowder expressed the situation as a major battle between established media, such as Vox, and independent creators such as his channel.

“This is not about me versus a guy at Vox. This is an example of a giant corporate media entity trying to silence voices they don’t like,” he said in a video posted on May 31.

“This is David versus Goliath,” he added.

Steven Crowder’s ‘Louder With Crowder’ YouTube Show Approaching Four Million Subscribers

YouTuber admitted to making comments referring to Maza’s sexuality and race, including “the gay Latino host on Vox” and “queer lispy,” but dismissed them as “friendly friends.” Crowder argued that because Maza identifies as Latino and gay on the internet – his Twitter account is @gaywonk, for example – it is just a “harmless” joke.

Beyond the comments, Crowder also sells a variety of products, including T-shirts, that generate income for the YouTube channel. The collection includes T-shirts with the label “Socialism is for Fgs “- in fact, that slogan has been adapted by Crowder fans to read” Carlos Maza Is AFg “as The mace himself has pointed out.

Crowder’s online store is powered by Shopify, which prohibits its service from being used for “hateful content,” including discrimination based on sexual orientation, in accordance with its terms and conditions.

TechCrunch has reached out to Shopify for comment.

Crowder’s channel sells merchandise, including “Socialism is for F * gs” t-shirts

Despite Crowder’s claims about victimization, the clips shared by Maza paint a different picture of the rhetoric used on his show.

Some Crowder choice quotes include: “You are being given a free pass as a shitty writer because you are gay,” and various derogatory references to his ethnicity.

“These videos get millions of views on YouTube. Every time they post one, I wake up to a wall of homophobic / racist abuse on Instagram and Twitter.” Mace said.

However, what he likes best about this is that YouTube calls Crowder’s comments “hurtful” and that’s an exact term used within their cyberbullying and harassment policy. In accordance with that policy, content that makes hurtful and negative personal comments / videos about another person will be removed with the channel owner’s warning. YouTube’s three attack rule goes into effect for channels.

It is unclear how or why YouTube did not take action based on that policy violation.

YouTube did not respond to a request for clarification.

This episode appears to mark a time of crisis for YouTube as it continues to grapple with the demands of policing its service, particularly as it has become the go-to place for “far-right” figures like Crowder to connect with their audience. Despite some in that community claiming that YouTube, and other internet companies, are biased against him, Maza argues that Crowder’s grand and conservative approach is precisely why YouTube isn’t taking action.

In an April interview with the New York Times, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said the company would decrease its focus on lawsuits and revenue generation to focus on “responsible growth.”

“To sum it up: YouTube wants to remove content that violates its policies more quickly and effectively; “Promote better and more authoritative material and limit the spread of videos that are potentially harmful but do not break the rules,” wrote the Times.

Despite the sound bites, there is little evidence that Wojcicki can deliver on that promise.