YouTube remonetizes Steven Crowder after suspension for racist, homophobic harassment

Last June YouTube demonetized conservative commentator Steven Crowder after then-Vox writer Carlos Maza called the website out for failing to enforce its anti-harassment policies against him. Now YouTube has quietly reenabled Crowder’s monetization, allowing him to resume earning income from a channel spreading dangerous misinformation such as “Obama Funded China’s COVID-Leaking Lab.”
“Demonetizing was already insufficient, but this decision proves that YouTube has no real interest in enforcing it’s [sic] anti-hate policies,” Maza tweeted on Wednesday. Maza left Vox to be a full-time YouTuber in January, and has been a vocal critic of YouTube’s laissez-faire approach to moderating hate speech. Read more…More about Youtube, Misinformation, Demonetization, Youtube Partner Program, and Steven Crowder

Last June YouTube demonetized conservative commentator Steven Crowder after then-Vox writer Carlos Maza called the website out for failing to enforce its anti-harassment policies against him. Now YouTube has quietly reenabled Crowder’s monetization, allowing him to resume earning income from a channel spreading dangerous misinformation such as “Obama Funded China’s COVID-Leaking Lab.”

“Demonetizing was already insufficient, but this decision proves that YouTube has no real interest in enforcing it’s [sic] anti-hate policies,” Maza tweeted on Wednesday. Maza left Vox to be a full-time YouTuber in January, and has been a vocal critic of YouTube’s laissez-faire approach to moderating hate speech.

“YouTube has a tremendous profit incentive to keep hate speech on the platform,” he continued. “Hate performs well and drives up the company’s numbers. It has never had any interest in enforcing its rules, and uses them solely to distract journalists.”

Crowder’s videos repeatedly targeted Maza for years, making disparaging comments about the writer’s sexuality and ethnicity. Incredibly, YouTube maintained these videos did not violate its policies, though it did eventually demonetize Crowder’s channel. Yet not even that slap on the wrist is sticking.

In a statement to Mashable, a YouTube spokesperson acknowledged it had reinstated Crowder to the YouTube Partner Program on Wednesday “after careful consideration.”

“Steven Crowder was suspended from the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) for harassing a fellow creator and harming the YouTube community,” said the spokesperson. “This incident exposed gaps in our Community Guidelines, so last December we updated our policies to better address patterns of harassing behavior and our work here is ongoing.

“Separately, Mr. Crowder has also taken steps to address the behavior that led to his suspension and has demonstrated a track record of policy-compliant behavior.”

Specifically, the videos targeting Maza have been removed and Crowder has stopped selling T-shirts that say “Carlos Maza is a f*g,” while pinkie promising YouTube he’ll never to do it again. 

Crowder’s channel is still spreading harmful coronavirus conspiracy theories and falsely claiming Black Lives Matter is a terrorist organization, of course. But YouTube noted he couldn’t earn ad revenue for over a year, which it considers a significant penalty. 

“[People like Crowder] make millions off of selling merch, doing speaking gigs, and getting their followers to support them on Patreon,” said Maza in a now-deleted tweet last year. “The ad revenue isn’t the problem. It’s the platform.”

YouTube’s spokesperson told Mashable not all Crowder’s videos will have ads on them, and that each individual upload must comply with its ad-friendly guidelines to be eligible for monetization. His video making false allegations against Black Lives Matter is one such exception. 

Even so, this is a bit like letting a bunch of feral bobcats live with you as long as they promise to use the litter box. It doesn’t matter if you clean it regularly — your apartment still stinks.

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