YouTube cracks down on Steven Crowder channel after protests

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Published: June 6, 2019 7:55:35 AM

The Google video unit had earlier said Crowder’s offending videos didn’t violate its policies. That prompted a group of Google employees to protest the decision.

The protest came hours after YouTube said it was instituting a tougher stance on content that could encourage discrimination and hate (AP Photo)The protest came hours after YouTube said it was instituting a tougher stance on content that could encourage discrimination and hate (AP Photo)

YouTube cracked down on the channel of Steven Crowder after the conservative comedian and commentator made homophobic and racist jokes about a journalist.

The Google video unit had earlier said Crowder’s offending videos didn’t violate its policies. That prompted a group of Google employees to protest the decision.

“We have suspended this channel’s monetization,” YouTube tweeted on Wednesday. “We came to this decision because a pattern of egregious actions has harmed the broader community and is against our YouTube Partner Program policies.”

The @EthicalGooglers protest came hours after YouTube said it was instituting a tougher stance on content that could encourage discrimination and hate, particularly related to white supremacists and Nazi ideology. A direct message seeking comment from the group @EthicalGooglers was not returned.

The Crowder uproar was prompted by Vox reporter Carlos Maza, who writes the program Strikethrough for Vox, after he put together a video montage drawn from Crowder’s YouTube program with frequent remarks that ridicule Maza’s sexual orientation and race.

After saying it would review Maza’s complaints, YouTube, which is under pressure to restrict videos that promote hate speech and discrimination, responded that the comments were not in violation of its policies.

Crowder doubled down Monday with a 21-minute video where he repeated a litany of insults he’s made on his show, while not specifically mentioning Maza.

After YouTube suspended his channel, Crowder responded on Twitter. “Just spoke with YouTube. Confirmed, the second Adpocalypse IS here and they’re coming for you. More details to follow. Stay tuned,” he wrote.

Google has been under pressure from employees and other outside groups to do more to root out content seen as encouraging hate. At the same time, conservative groups have complained that YouTube censors content it doesn’t agree with.

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