Over the last couple of years, YouTube has received strongly-worded criticism for their failure to censor violent and harmful content, while allowing racist, misogynist, and pro-conspiracy theory content to continue to thrive. The platform has begun taking steps to resolve this by banning autism “cures” and certain conspiracy theorists, but now, YouTube has once again been critiqued after taking a huge step in the wrong direction by announcing that it would refuse to take action against a far-right vlogger who reportedly harassed a gay journalist.
— tyler oakley (@tyleroakley) June 5, 2019
Carlos Maza, host of Vox series Strikethrough and popular YouTube influenceer, posted a set of clips from right-wing vlogger Steven Crowder, who used racist and homophobic slurs to make fun of Maza. In the set of tweets, Crowder calls Maza a “lispy queer,” “little queer,” and “the gay Vox sprite.” Afterwards, Maza asserted that Crowder had been harassing him for years and encouraging followers to harass him as well.
— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) June 5, 2019
In response, YouTube wrote on Twitter that it takes “allegations of harassment very seriously,” but would not be punishing Crowder because “the videos as posted don’t violate our policies.” Meanwhile, YouTube’s user policy states that it does not allow hate speech, which is “racial, ethnic, religious, or other slurs where the primary purpose is to promote hatred” or “stereotypes that incite or promote hatred based on any of the attributes noted above.”
Several users responded to YouTube’s decision by accusing the famed platform of prioritizing free speech over protecting LGTBQ content creators.
and the fact that they routinely demonetize or age restrict queer content is salt in the wound 😐 https://t.co/hPbqCDPp4J
— Natalie Wynn 🦋 (@ContraPoints) June 5, 2019