YouTube announced that they will not remove videos uploaded to their platform that contain anti-gay harassment in a tweet on Tuesday, following a Vox journalist’s viral accusation against conservative pundit Steven Crowder.
Crowder, on his YouTube show “Louder with Crowder,” has called Carlos Maza, a gay, latino Vox journalist, a “little queer,” “Mr. Lispy Queer,” “gay Vox sprite,” and “t*****.” Maza took to Twitter to express his frustration with YouTube’s continued silence on the matter, explaining:
I’ve been called an anchor baby, a lispy queer, a Mexican, etc. These videos get millions of views on YouTube. Every time one gets posted, I wake up to a wall of homophobic/racist abuse on Instagram and Twitter.— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) May 31, 2019
Maza also noted that YouTube has “explicit policies against harassment and bullying.” Maza, in a long thread, also notes that Crowder’s supporters have published Maza’s personal information, including his phone number, online, and have barraged him with “hundreds of” spam texts.
These videos makes me a target of ridiculous harassment, and it makes life sort of miserable. I waste a lot of time blocking abusive Crowder fanboys, and this shit derails your mental health.— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) May 31, 2019
Tuesday, YouTube officially weighed in on the matter.
(2/4) Our teams spent the last few days conducting an in-depth review of the videos flagged to us, and while we found language that was clearly hurtful, the videos as posted don’t violate our policies. We’ve included more info below to explain this decision:— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) June 4, 2019
YouTube explained in a statement on Twitter that ”[o]pinions can be deeply offensive, but if they don’t violate our policies, they’ll remain on our site.” They also stressed that their investigation isn’t closed, because there are “other aspects of the channel that we’re still evaluating.”
Anti-reactionary YouTuber Shaun pointed out on Twitter that YouTube’s decision seems to contradict their own harassment policy.
YouTube has had a contentious relationship with its LGBTQ creators in the past. Last year, YouTube age-restricted a music video by Korea’s first openly gay pop idol for a scene in which he kisses his boyfriend. Other LGBTQ creators have accused YouTube of flagging their content as “potentially inappropriate” for mentioning the word “gay” or “lesbian” in their titles. In addition, trans creators have alleged that YouTube of demonetizing their videos—running no ads in front of them and, therefore, not earning any revenue—for putting the words “transgender” or “LGBT” in the titles of their videos.
YouTube denied both claims at the time.
In the meanwhile, Crowder uploaded satirical apology video where he doubled down on his harassment of Maza. He capped off the video with a long list of slurs apparently directed at Maza — “Homo, colored, f**, t****,” he listed.
UPDATE: YouTube has demonetized, but not suspended, Crowder’s channel.
Update on our continued review-we have suspended this channel’s monetization. We came to this decision because a pattern of egregious actions has harmed the broader community and is against our YouTube Partner Program policies. More here: https://t.co/VmOce5nbGy— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) June 5, 2019