After Backlash, YouTube Is Finally Stepping Up To Combat Hate Speech From One Particularly Awful YouTuber And It’s About Time
YouTube has long claimed to have zero tolerance for hate speech, cyberbullying, or discrimination. But one journalist’s recent Tweet storm has shown that the video platform really isn’t enforcing its own policies to prevent it.
So today, YouTube announced that it will prohibit videos that promote discrimination. To make things even more complicated, today’s announcement comes less than 24 hours after YouTube said they wouldn’t take any action.
All of this drama started when Carlos Maza, who works as a journalist at Vox, uploaded
videos and tweets showing how much anti-gay and anti-Latino bullying and discrimination he was facing from the YouTube community.
This is one of his tweets that started the entire conversation around YouTube and its role in preventing online harassment.
Carlos Maza spoke up about harassment he’s experienced from YouTuber Steven Crowder and his fans.
In a Twitter thread, Maza explained that after each episode of his Vox show ‘Strikethrough’, he will “wake up to a wall of homophobic/racist abuse on Instagram and Twitter.”
He called out “mind-melting” levels of homophobia he experiences on YouTube, a platform that prides itself on being an inclusive, queer-friendly site.
The platform is even celebrating Pride month by changing its own YouTube profile picture. But they won’t protect the LGBTQ community from hateful speech and online bullying.
This is just one of the many examples Maza shared on Twitter.
There are many videos and examples of obvious homophobia and anti-Latino sentiment in Crowder’s videos. But YouTube originally declined to do anything about it.
Like, really YouTube, this shirt wasn’t enough to classify as hateful speech?!
I mean I don’t think homophobia gets clearer than wearing a shirt that says “socialism is for f*gsI How much proof did they want?
Maza even put YouTube on blast among other LGBTQ YouTubers.
He’s absolutely right though. I mean how can YouTube say they have the LGBTQ community’s back but then allow harmful hate speech?
Other’s chimed in adding that much of the speech Crowder was using was so blatantly homophobic they were shocked YouTube wasn’t acting.
YouTube’s harassment policy, states that “content that makes hurtful and negative personal comments/videos about another person” is not allowed on the platform.
Maza calls out the video hosting service in the Twitter thread for not only allowing Crowder to continue to make content, but also for making money off of him. “YouTube is designed to give those a**holes a megaphone, push new followers in their directions, and keep them listening. It’s a weapon,” Maza wrote in the thread.
YouTube first responded to the controversy saying they wouldn’t take any actions against Crowder or similar content.
On Tuesday, in a series of tweets, YouTube said that Crowder’s near-constant harassment of Maza contained “hurtful” language, but that it did not violate its policies. This left many confused because according to YouTube, they have a policy against hate speech. If this wasn’t hate speech then what was it?
Apparently, according to YouTube, calling someone a “lispy queer” is just debating.
That response had people outraged.
Then after major public outcry, YouTube reversed its decision less than 24 hours later.
On Wednesday, YouTube announced that it will prohibit videos that promote discrimination or segregation based on things like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran status. Thousands of channels are expected to be affected by the policy change but it’s not clear if Crowder’s account will be affected.
The post also said that the platform will be reducing what it calls “borderline content, such as ”videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, or claiming the earth is flat.”
It’s great that YouTube finally made the right choice to start enforcing their own policy against hate speech and cyberbullying. But what took them so long?