Content creators on YouTube are on the verge of an all-out war with one another after one user complained about being mocked and debunked by conservative commentator Steven Crowder.
Crowder, who comments on current events using a late night comedian format, has several times published videos debunking popular uploads from Vox, a left-wing news source. Many of the videos featured Vox personality Carlos Maza, who often publicly celebrates his homosexual identity. In line with normal comedy routines, Crowder frequently references this in his critiques.
Apparently, the conservative comedian finally crossed a line this week, and Maza published a video calling on YouTube to de-platform Crowder and seemingly everyone else he doesn’t like.
To support his claim that Crowder was promoting bigotry, Maza referred to a t-shirt sold on Crowder’s website, which features an image of communist revolutionary Che Guevara with the caption “socialism is for figs.” The caption is meant to jab at the left-wing philosophy while skirting the line of YouTube’s content policy. Maza says the intent is to promote a homophobic slur, which Crowder denies.
YouTube responded to Maza by saying they will not remove Crowder from the site. However, the platform did remove all advertising from the channel.
Overnight, the content creator community on YouTube was torn apart. Maza and his supporters are adamant in purging everything they see as “hate speech” from the platform, while Crowder and other creators — many of whom are apolitical — point out that an “adpocalypse” would essentially make it impossible for smaller creators to make a living the same way that they do.
Maza’s critics have also pointed to the Vox personality’s support for attacking right-wing individuals with milkshakes, a trend seen in the run-up to European Parliament elections in Britain. He claims that Crowder is “alt-right”, a label which refers to a small and fringe movement that rejects conventional conservatism in favor of a racial ultra-nationalism. Crowder maintains this label is inaccurate. Considering the content of his channel, which includes hard critiques of the alt-right, this seems to hold true.
If Carlos Maza gets his way, virtually any creator on YouTube — the world’s most popular video platform online — will be disallowed from receiving any ad revenue for their videos if they publish material considered to be controversial. Of course, it also amounts to a gross violation of free speech, a principle shared by every western-style democracy.
Clearly, the situation is a complicated mess. Crowder dedicated an entire livestream to clear things up. The video below is long, but contains important information on what exactly is at stake if YouTube continues to surrender to the will of individuals who want to see speech they disagree with disappear.
You can watch the full broadcast below.