YouTube refused to shut down Steven Crowder’s channel, despite him being accused of “homophobic and racist” harassment. What Carlos Maza calls harassment, Crowder–a comic with a conservative message and about 3.8 million followers–calls opinion.
“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,” YouTube wrote.
“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,” the tech behemoth wrote. “Opinions can be deeply offensive, but if they don’t violate our policies, they’ll remain on our site.” The Hill, June 4, 2019
Maza aka @gaywonk, says he doesn’t like how Crowder’s followers react to the videos.
He tweeted (in a profanity-laced thread) he’s not mad at Crowder, yet he wanted YouTube to shut Crowder’s channel (his source of income, his career) down.
No, I’m not mad, I just want to destroy you.
YouTube correctly concluded that the behavior of Crowder’s followers is not Crowder’s responsibility–if the videos are not specifically asking them to react in a certain way. In other words, when you say things in a video that are protected free speech, maybe other gadflies will get some spashback, but free speech is still free. This time, at least.
This hasn’t deterred Maza.
So it’s okay for progressives to apply public pressure to media and tech companies to get them to crack down on speech progressives don’t like, because “they only respond to public pressure.”
But if Donald Trump tweets that maybe conservatives should do the same thing to AT&T/CNN, they lose their minds. Granted, I don’t think it’s proper of the president, as an office-holder, to engage in this kind of trollery, but Trump is a troll. It’s one thing he’s very good at.
Kudos to YouTube for not going with its gut and caving.