YouTube has claimed commentator Steven Crowder hasn’t violated any of their policies, despite directing homophobic and racist harassment towards a Vox writer.
For two years, Crowder has repeatedly slurred writer Carlos Maza on his YouTube channel, using terms such as ‘lispy queer’ and ‘gay Mexican’ frequently.
So much so that Maza has flagged the abuse to YouTube on several occasions, despite never receiving a response until this week (June 4).
Maza, who writes the Vox video series Strikethrough, has been subjected to derogatory remarks about his sexuality and ethnicity from conservative Crowder in several videos posted to his channel, as per The Verge.
Fed up of the constant harassment, Maza put together a series of clips in which Crowder had used homophobic and/or racist slurs to describe him and posted them to social media.
Addressing his followers last week, Maza wrote:
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.
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.
Since I started working at Vox, Steven Crowder has been making video after video "debunking" Strikethrough. Every single video has included repeated, overt attacks on my sexual orientation and ethnicity. Here's a sample: pic.twitter.com/UReCcQ2Elj
— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) May 31, 2019
Noting YouTube’s refusal to remove the videos, despite reporting them on numerous occasions, the Vox writer said he was ‘f*cking p*ssed’ at the video sharing website.
Now, YouTube have responded saying Crowder did not violate any of its policies in his videos – despite their policy clearly stating: ‘Content or behavior [sic] intended to maliciously harass, threaten, or bully others is not allowed on YouTube’.
In a tweet posted as a reply to Maza’s original tweet, @TeamYouTube wrote:
Thanks 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 impacts a lot of people.
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:
(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
The thread of tweets continued:
As an open platform, it’s crucial for us to allow everyone–from creators to journalists to late-night TV hosts–to express their opinions w/in the scope of our policies. Opinions can be deeply offensive, but if they don’t violate our policies, they’ll remain on our site.
Even if a video remains on our site, it doesn’t mean we endorse/support that viewpoint. There are other aspects of the channel that we’re still evaluating– we’ll be in touch with any further updates.
(4/4) Even if a video remains on our site, it doesn’t mean we endorse/support that viewpoint.
There are other aspects of the channel that we’re still evaluating– we’ll be in touch with any further updates.
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) June 4, 2019
Responding to this, Maza said he was speechless, stating: ‘I don’t know what to say’. He then encouraged prominent LGBT creators on YouTube to ‘raise hell’ and ‘use their power’ to shine light on the platform’s motives.
The writer later pointed out the hypocrisy of YouTube celebrating LGBT Pride Month by changing its Twitter picture to a rainbow flag.
Crowder since published an ‘apology video’ in which he sarcastically apologised to everyone except Maza – insulting dozens more in the process.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).