On Monday we reported about extremist right-wing journalist/comedian Steven Crowder‘s anti-gay abuse of Vox journalist Carlos Maza.
Crowder repeatedly posted videos harassing Maza with derogatory, anti-gay, and racist statements, which Maza says resulted in hordes of Crowder’s fans doxxing him.
For example in Crowder’s videos has called Maza a “lispy queer,” a “token Vox gay atheist sprite,” and a “gay Mexican.” Other attacks included an offensive pantomime of Maza’s voice in which Crowder pretended to eat chips and exclaimed “just can’t eat one, like dicks.
For over a year Maza had reported the offensive videos to YouTube who did nothing. Then Maza took to Twitter to complain and the YouTube finally noticed and promised to look into the offensive videos.
YouTube’s hate speech policy page specifically bars “content promoting violence or hatred against individuals or groups” based on a number of attributes including ethnicity, race, and sexual orientation.
YouTube specifically writes creators cannot:
Use racial, ethnic, religious, or other slurs where the primary purpose is to promote hatred.
Use stereotypes that incite or promote hatred based on any of the attributes noted above. This can take the form of speech, text, or imagery promoting these stereotypes or treating them as factual.”
On Tuesday YouTube responded saying it would not take any action on the videos involved. After claiming YouTube takes “allegations of harassment very seriously” and that they had spent days “conducting an in-depth review of the videos flagged to us,” the Team YouTube Twitter wrote that while Crowder’s language was “clearly hurtful,” “the videos as posted don’t violate our policies” and will “remain on our site.”
The website Gizmodo asked YouTube and its parent company, Google, via email why the specific language used by Crowder and highlighted in Maza’s videos did not constitute a violation
We have strict policies that prohibit harassment on YouTube.
In the first quarter of 2019 we removed 47,443 videos and 10,623 accounts for violation of our policies on cyberbullying and harassment.
We take into consideration whether criticism is focused primarily on debating the opinions expressed or is solely malicious. We apply these policies consistently, regardless of how many views a video has.
In videos flagged to YouTube, Crowder has not instructed his viewers to harass Maza on YouTube or any other platform and the main point of these videos was not to harass or threaten, but rather to respond to the opinion.
There is certain behavior that is never ok: that includes encouraging viewers to harass others online and offline, or revealing nonpublic personal information (doxxing).
None of Maza’s personal information was ever revealed in content uploaded by Crowder and flagged to our teams for review.
A bizarre and tonedeaf response from YouTube since Maza flagged the posts about Crowder’s language being in violation of its hate speech policy which Crowder’s videos clearly are.