YouTube will not enforce its anti-harassment policies against right-wing commentator Steven Crowder, who has been mocking gay journalist Carlos Maza’s race and sexual orientation for two years.
Tweeted Maza on Tuesday night: “@YouTube has decided that targeted racist and homophobic harassment does not violate its policies against hate speech or harassment. That’s an absolutely batshit policy that gives bigots free license.”
Maza brought the harassment, in which he has been “called an anchor baby, a lispy queer, a Mexican” by Crowder, who likes wearing a “socialism is for fags” t-shirt, to the public’s attention through a viral tweet thread last week. Just watch the video below for a sample of the harassment, and follow along for YouTube and Maza’s response.
YouTube responded: “Thanks again for taking the time to share all of this information with us. We take allegations of harassment very seriously–we know this is important and impacts a lot of people. Our teams spent the last few days conducting an in-depth review of the videos flagged to us, and while we found language that was clearly hurtful, the videos as posted don’t violate our policies. We’ve included more info below to explain this decision: As an open platform, it’s crucial for us to allow everyone–from creators to journalists to late-night TV hosts–to express their opinions w/in the scope of our policies. Opinions can be deeply offensive, but if they don’t violate our policies, they’ll remain on our site. Even if a video remains on our site, it doesn’t mean we endorse/support that viewpoint. There are other aspects of the channel that we’re still evaluating– we’ll be in touch with any further updates.”
Maza responded, calling on LGBTQ creators to leave the platform: “I don’t know what to say. @YouTube has decided not to punish Crowder, after he spent two years harassing me for being gay and Latino. I don’t know what to say. To be crystal clear: @YouTube has decided that targeted racist and homophobic harassment does not violate its policies against hate speech or harassment. That’s an absolutely batshit policy that gives bigots free license. If you’re an LGBT creator, @YouTube is using you. They’re trotting you out to convince advertisers that their platform hasn’t become a breeding ground for hate speech and bigotry. They’re hoping you’ll distract advertisers away from the monsters they’re creating.”
“And if you’re an LGBT employee working at @YouTube, what the f**k are you doing?” Maza continued. “Helping a guy sell “Socialism Is For Fags” t-shirts? That company isn’t your friend. It’s arming the monsters that we’ve spent our lives trying to get away from. Walk out of there. I have spent two years getting targeted by racist and homophobic abuse from one of @YouTube‘s star creators.Today, YouTube decided that none of this violated their terms of service:”