YouTube will no longer allow conservative pundit Steven Crowder to run ads on his YouTube channel after a tweet thread from Vox host Carlos Maza outlined several instances of Crowder using homophobic language. YouTube’s decision to suspend monetization comes just one day after the company stated it wouldn’t remove Crowder’s channel.
(Disclosure: Vox is a publication of Vox Media, which also owns The Verge.)
A new tweet from YouTube’s support team states that the company “came to this decision because a pattern of egregious actions has harmed the broader community and is against our YouTube Partner Program policies” after further investigation of Crowder’s channel. Crowder’s content will no longer be eligible for ads through YouTube’s AdSense network. Often, demonetization means content from the channel won’t be recommended either. The Verge has reached out to YouTube for more information about additional measures being taken.
Maza criticized YouTube’s latest action on Twitter, arguing that demonetization is insufficient and “basically all political content gets ‘demonetized.’” He added that “Crowder’s revenue stream isn’t from YouTube ads,” but from selling merchandise including a shirt that says, “Socialism Is For Fags.”
The policy YouTube is citing for the new actions was introduced in February 2018 after creator Logan Paul uploaded a video of a dead body, which led to global condemnation and advertisers threatening to pause ad spending. The policy states:
When one creator does something particularly blatant—like conducts a heinous prank where people are traumatized, promotes violence or hate toward a group, demonstrates cruelty, or sensationalizes the pain of others in an attempt to gain views or subscribers—it can cause lasting damage to the community, including viewers, creators and the outside world.
Maza previously accused Crowder of violating YouTube’s harassment policies, which state that “content that is deliberately posted in order to humiliate someone,” “content that makes hurtful and negative personal comments/videos about another person,” and “content that incites others to harass or threaten individuals on or off YouTube” is prohibited. YouTube responded yesterday in a four-part Twitter thread, stating that “while we found language that was clearly hurtful, the videos as posted don’t violate our policies.”
The decision led to many YouTube creators, reporters, critics, and others condemning YouTube’s decision to not act on its own policies. Maza told The Verge over DM that YouTube’s response confirmed what many YouTube creators previously thought, “that 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,” Maza said.
YouTube’s decision to suspend monetization also coincides with new measures being introduced to tackle hate speech on the platform. It’s unclear whether Crowder’s demonetization resulted from those policy updates.
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