News & Politics

YouTube Punishes Lots of People Not Named Steven Crowder

(AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File)

Since I wrote about the Steven Crowder/Carlos Maza contretemps yesterday, things have escalated quite nicely. As you may or may not recall, Maza (a vlogger) is angry at Crowder (a vlogger for The Blaze) for calling Maza a “lispy queer,” among other things. (Maza identifies as “queer,” but that’s different because he means it in a good way.) So, Maza has been campaigning to get Crowder kicked off YouTube. At first, YouTube said Crowder hadn’t broken any rules and wouldn’t be banned or punished in any way. But then the outrage mob turned the dial to 11, so YouTube said Crowder’s channel would be demonetized. He can still post videos but can’t make any money from them.

From YouTube’s statement:

Even if a creator’s content doesn’t violate our community guidelines, we will take a look at the broader context and impact, and if their behavior is egregious and harms the broader community, we may take action. In the case of Crowder’s channel, a thorough review over the weekend found that individually, the flagged videos did not violate our Community Guidelines. However, in the subsequent days, we saw the widespread harm to the YouTube community resulting from the ongoing pattern of egregious behavior, took a deeper look, and made the decision to suspend monetization. In order to be considered for reinstatement, all relevant issues with the channel need to be addressed, including any videos that violate our policies, as well as things like offensive merchandise.

In short: “Even though the guy you hate didn’t break our rules, you’re really scaring us, so we’re instating a lesser punishment than the one you want. We realize you’re disappointed, but we agree that the guy you hate is really gross and uncool, and we hope you will now stop yelling at us.”

They have not stopped yelling at YouTube.

It’s an insufficient punishment, because Crowder and his employees can still make a living. They must be silenced. Carlos Maza must have his revenge for this grievous wound to his ego, or else #HateWins.

And now that Maza has set the house on fire because he didn’t like the drapes, he’s utterly baffled that he can’t control the spreading destruction. Now a lot of other people’s YouTube channels are being disrupted as well. As Kelly Weill writes at the Daily Beast (the site that just tried to ruin a forklift driver’s life for mocking Nancy Pelosi):

YouTube’s new policy was supposed to combat extremism on the site. Some white supremacists lost their videos, but after a confused rollout on Wednesday, journalists and educators are also seeing their videos purged.

Nazis, Holocaust deniers, and Sandy Hook truthers would have their videos eligible for removal, YouTube announced Wednesday, amid controversy over a prominent right-wing YouTuber who repeatedly targeted a gay journalist with slurs. But the policy’s announcement seemed slapdash. YouTube tried to clarify it over multiple tweets and blog posts. Many of the policy’s targets (white supremacists, male supremacists, homophobes) were untouched by the new rule. Meanwhile, people uploading historical footage of fascists or debunking far-right conspiracy theories saw their videos and channels suspended.

Now a lot of people on YouTube who have been speaking out against hate speech are being punished for even acknowledging the existence of hate speech. People who have nothing to do with Crowder, or any of this nonsense. All because one crybaby threw a fit over being mocked. The unintended consequences were not intended.

I’ll leave you with a couple of opposing opinions on Crowder. Over at NRO, Kevin Williamson writes: “Crowder Isn’t a Threat to Public Safety.” And at the Bulwark, Christian Schneider opines: “Just Because You CAN Defend Steven Crowder Doesn’t Mean You HAVE To.” As usual, I think Kevin Williamson is right. And as usual, I think The Bulwark is full of crap. You don’t have to like Crowder or think he’s funny. You don’t have to condone his opinions or his manner of expressing them. You don’t have to care about YouTubers or the whole phenomenon of monetized content in general. It’s not about personalities. It’s about principles.

Remember principles? They’re great, give ’em a try.