YouTube’s content moderation has come under scrutiny after it decided to take no action against a content creator that labelled another YouTuber as a “lispy queer” and “gay Mexican”.
Vox Media writer and video host Carlos Maza received the abuse from conservative YouTuber Steven Crowder.
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
The comments included slurs like describing Maza as a “token Vox gay atheist sprite”, “gay Mexican” and “lispy queer”.
Crowder – whose header image on Twitter is a photo of himself wearing a t-shirt that says ‘Socialism Is For F*gs’ – defended his comments, describing them as a “harmless ribbing”.
And it appears YouTube agreed with Crowder, electing not to remove the videos Maza had flagged.
“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,” YouTube said in a statement on Tuesday.
However, YouTube has slightly changed its stance since electing to temporarily demonetise Crowder’s videos.
Crowder has been told he has to “address all of the issues with his channel”, including removing links to buy his t-shirts, before his account will be monetised again.
But Maza is still unhappy with YouTube’s action, arguing the penalty is insufficient.
He also told The Verge it proves “YouTube’s anti-harassment policies are bullshit”.
“They’re fake policies meant to trick advertisers into believing YouTube actually cares about policing what happens on its platform.”
The saga comes right as YouTube has changed its community guidelines to ban videos promoting the superiority of any group as a justification for discrimination against others based on their age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
“Today, we’re taking another step in our hate speech policy by specifically prohibiting videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination,” it said.
It will also remove content that denies well-documented violent events like the Holocaust or the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, took place.