In the middle of December, online video-sharing giant YouTube announced that its new rules “protecting” users from discrimination would now be enforced by its administrators.
Specifically, the rules ostensibly shield creators and users from “attacks” on their identity, be it characteristics they were born with or something else they adopted later in life. The language of the announcement was pretty pointed. These include “malicious insults” referring to ones race, gender “expression”, or sexual identity.
“We’re tightening our policies for the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) to get even tougher on those who engage in harassing behavior and to ensure we reward only trusted creators,” YouTube said in a statement. “Channels that repeatedly brush up against our harassment policy will be suspended from YPP, eliminating their ability to make money on YouTube. We may also remove content from channels if they repeatedly harass someone.”
Political expression and satire became the ire of YouTube HQ when a feud between conservative comedian Steven Crowder and Vox commentator Carlos Maza escalated. In videos rebutting Maza’s material, Crowder often jokingly referred to the Vox personality’s “lispy queer” demeanor. After several videos, Maza called it offensive. Maza goes by “Gay Wonk” on Twitter.
At the time of Maza’s accusation, YouTube announced that it found Crowder’s behavior “hurtful” but not against its existing policies. A day later, after a backlash led by Maza and other progressive social media personalities, the company reversed its statement, and banned Crowder from running ads on the platform.
YouTube alleges that it will enforce the new policies regardless of political affiliation, but its past behavior raises serious doubt. The company commonly gives a pass on offensive behavior to “priority” profiles, such as mainstream media “influencers.”
Here’s Mark Dice with more details.