So over the past few days Carlos Maza of Vox pestered the YouTube team about Steven Crowder’s “targeted harassment” of him. As far as I have been able to tell, this so-called targeted harassment of Maza consists of Crowder posting rebuttal videos to Maza’s Vox opinion pieces and calling Maza names like “lispy queer (that’s the worst thing that I can find).” Maza also claims that Crowder sends his fans over to his videos to call him names and harass him, but I have seen absolutely zero evidence that Crowder has ever asked anyone to say anything to Maza.
I am not really a Crowder fan. He is much too much of a pro-war pro-America conservative for my taste. I am subscribed to his channel because occasionally he has some interesting pieces on free speech issues (I subscribed to Vox as well…until today).
Initially, YouTube basically said that they weren’t going to do anything, but Maza and his fans continuously pestered them and then today YouTube unveiled an entirely new policy about hate speech, videos promoting certain ideologies, etc. YouTube also completely demonetized Crowder’s channel as well as many other right-leaning channels.
YouTube also released this AMAZING statement:
Even if a creator’s content doesn’t violate our community guidelines, we will take a look at the broader context and impact, and if their behavior is egregious and harms the broader community, we may take action. In the case of Crowder’s channel, a thorough review over the weekend found that individually, the flagged videos did not violate our Community Guidelines. However, in the subsequent days, we saw the widespread harm to the YouTube community resulting from the ongoing pattern of egregious behavior, took a deeper look, and made the decision to suspend monetization.
So they are blatantly admitting that Crowder’s content does not violate any of their guidelines, but they don’t like it so they are completely demonetizing his channel. That is insane.
A couple of days ago, I sent a tweet at Maza after noticing that he repeatedly refers to himself as queer so I asked him if “lispy” is the thing he is objecting to. He immediately blocked me on Twitter.
I would also like to point out some things about Facebook’s new policy.
Here is their post outlining their new policy.
Here are some highlights:
Today, we’re taking another step in our hate speech policy by specifically prohibiting videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status. This would include, for example, videos that promote or glorify Nazi ideology, which is inherently discriminatory. Finally, we will remove content denying that well-documented violent events, like the Holocaust or the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, took place.
I hate conspiracy theorists as much as anyone, but this is a VERY BAD idea. This will only encourage them and will likely eliminate one of my favorite types of content on YouTube, rebuttals of idiotic conspiracy theories.
In addition to removing videos that violate our policies, we also want to reduce the spread of content that comes right up to the line. In January, we piloted an update of our systems in the U.S. to limit recommendations of borderline content and harmful misinformation, such as videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, or claiming the earth is flat. We’re looking to bring this updated system to more countries by the end of 2019. Thanks to this change, the number of views this type of content gets from recommendations has dropped by over 50% in the U.S. Our systems are also getting smarter about what types of videos should get this treatment, and we’ll be able to apply it to even more borderline videos moving forward. As we do this, we’ll also start raising up more authoritative content in recommendations, building on the changes we made to news last year. For example, if a user is watching a video that comes close to violating our policies, our systems may include more videos from authoritative sources (like top news channels) in the “watch next” panel.
Yes…because we can always trust CNN and the rest of the corporate media to get it right. This is also insane.
What do you guys think about these developments?