YouTube has made the weakest, least courageous response to mass backlash regarding it’s ruling yesterday that right-wing personality Steven Crowder’s racist and homophobic attacks on Vox writer Carlos Maza didn’t violate its policies. Now YouTube says it’s demonetized Crowder’s channel because his “pattern of egregious actions has harmed the broader community”…but it will restore Crowder’s ability to earn a cut of YouTube ad revenue as long as he removes the link in his videos/channel to his offensive merchandise shop. Specifically, Crowder’s shop sells [Warning: disturbing language not condoned by TechCrunch]: “Socialism is for f*gs”.
That essentially means that Crowder’s consistent attacks on Maza are condoned by YouTube and it will continue to earn money off of them. T-shirts were not the problem here, targeted harassment is. And Crowder can still promote his merchandise shop within his videos, or link to his website that in turn links to his shop.
YouTube needs to completely rethink its approach to policy and enforcement here. Otherwise it’s likely to embolden harassers and bigots across the Internet.
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