Business Insider Edition

YouTube is refusing to punish a star with millions of fans after he hurled homophobic slurs at a journalist

Isobel Asher Hamilton , Business Insider US
 Jun 06, 2019, 12:26 PM

Carlos Maza (r) and Steven Crowder (l).
  • YouTube is refusing to take action after Vox Media journalist Carlos Maza detailed the homophobic abuse he receives from YouTuber Steven Crowder.
  • Crowder has called Maza a "lispy queer" among other slurs, while his fans have also targeted the Vox journalist with a "wall of homophobic/racist abuse."
  • YouTube said on Wednesday that it found Crowder's videos were hurtful, but not in violation of its policies.
  • "I don't know what to say," Crowder tweeted in a bemused response to YouTube's decision. Vox Media said YouTube must "remove creators who promote hate."
  • In a video posted on Tuesday, Crowder said Maza's complaints were a "campaign" to get his channel "deplatformed."
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider SA.

YouTube has refused to take action after a journalist accused a YouTuber with millions of subscribers of consistent homophobic and racist harassment.

Vox journalist Carlos Maza tweeted last week about the harassment he receives from YouTube star Steven Crowder, who has 3.8 million subscribers.

Maza said that in multiple videos "debunking" his show Strikethrough, Crowder frequently makes repeated reference to Maza's sexuality and ethnicity. He included a supercut of examples, in which Crowder refers to Maza as a "lispy queer," and a "gay Latino."

Following the posting of these videos, Maza said he often wakes up to a "wall of homophobic/racist abuse" on social media, and that last year, he was doxxed resulting in text after text from unknown numbers saying "debate Stephen Crowder."

Five days after Maza raised his concerns on Twitter, YouTube said it had conducted a review of Crowder's videos. It found that although Crowder's language was "clearly hurtful," it didn't constitute a violation of its policies.

YouTube added that just because a video remains on the site it doesn't mean the company endorses or supports it, and said that "other aspects" of Crowder's channel are still under review.

Maza was bemused by YouTube's decision. He tweeted:

Maza pointed out that anonymous harassment of him had escalated yet further since he spoke out about Crowder's videos, with a "Carlos Maza is a f*g" T-shirt having been made available for purchase online. The T-Shirt is a nod to a piece of merchandise on Crowder's official store, which bears the tag line "socialism is for f*gs." On Saturday, Maza also said he had been doxxed again. He also accused YouTube of paying lipservice to LGBTQ rights for cynical gain.

In a video posted on Tuesday, Crowder said Maza's complaints were a "campaign" to get his channel "deplatformed."

In a statement sent to The Verge, Vox Media publisher Melissa Bell said YouTube must "remove creators who promote hate." She added: "By refusing to take a stand on hate speech, they allow the worst of their communities to hide behind cries of 'free speech' and 'fake news' all while increasingly targeting people with the most offensive and odious harassment."

A number journalists reacted with dismay to YouTube's stance on the matter.

YouTube declined to comment further when contacted by Business Insider.

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