Vox Media “journalist” Carlos Maza began an effort to get conservative comedian Stephen Crowder banned from YouTube. Carlos Maza produces “Strikethrough” for Vox, and evidently has gotten tired of Crowder fact-checking his show.
Since I started working at Vox, Steven Crowder has been making video after video “debunking” Strikethrough. Every single video has included repeated, overt attacks on my sexual orientation and ethnicity. Here’s a sample: pic.twitter.com/UReCcQ2Elj
— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) May 31, 2019
The above Twitter thread is one long screed by Maza complaining about how people send him threatening messages because Crowder fact-checks his work and makes fun of him. Which, honestly, is par for the course when you’re a conservative or center-right (sometimes even center-left) independent content creator.
Carlos Maza took his grievances directly to YouTube. In response, YouTube announced that they were beefing up several aspects of their enforcement policies in a blog post on Wednesday.
YouTube will be focusing on three areas of enforcement.
Removing more hateful and supremacist content from YouTube
The vagueness of that statement alone should send chills down the spine of anyone who values free speech. How does one determine what is and what isn’t hate speech?
YouTube didn’t make much effort to clear things up:
YouTube has always had rules of the road, including a longstanding policy against hate speech. In 2017, we introduced a tougher stance towards videos with supremacist content, including limiting recommendations and features like comments and the ability to share the video. This step dramatically reduced views to these videos (on average 80%). 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.
Translation: we’re going to work harder to ban conservative content because everyone knows they’re a bunch of Nazis anyway.
Reducing borderline content and raising up authoritative voices
I’ll save you the trouble of reading anything from this particular section. Suffice to say YouTube will silence independent journalists and commentators while flooding the zone with mainstream media content.
In other words, you can expect to see CNN, MSNBC, The Young Turks, etc. a hell of a lot more than you used to.
Continuing to reward trusted creators and enforce our monetization policies
YouTube openly admits they will be using their monetization policies as a weapon to silence speech they disagree with.
Finally, it’s critical that our monetization systems reward trusted creators who add value to YouTube. We have longstanding advertiser-friendly guidelines that prohibit ads from running on videos that include hateful content and we enforce these rigorously. And in order to protect our ecosystem of creators, advertisers and viewers, we tightened our advertising criteria in 2017. In the case of hate speech, we are strengthening enforcement of our existing YouTube Partner Program policies. Channels that repeatedly brush up against our hate speech policies will be suspended from the YouTube Partner program, meaning they can’t run ads on their channel or use other monetization features like Super Chat.
Stephen Crowder has already felt the sting of YouTube’s monetization lash. Crowder’s entire YouTube channel has been demonitized as punishment for being super mean to poor, gay Carlos Maza.
Crowder isn’t the only one suffering under YouTube’s new, tougher enforcement guidelines. Within hours of YouTube’s announcement creators began to see their channels demonetized, hit with community and copyright strikes, or just outright banned and deleted altogether.
Things have gotten so bad that there’s even a hashtag for it-the #VoxAdpocalypse.
Make No Mistake.
On one level the #VoxAdpocalypse is about taking down people they disagree with.
On another level, its about taking all of Youtube down with them so people like Vox can stay afloat.
Their target was never crowder. its Youtube.
Youtube fell on its own sword.
— Boogie 🔜 E3 (@Boogie2988) June 5, 2019
YouTube have banned me for ‘hate speech’, I think due to clips on Nazi policy featuring propaganda speeches by Nazi leaders. I’m devastated to have this claim levelled against me, and frustrated 15yrs of materials for #HistoryTeacher community have ended so abruptly.@TeamYouTube
— Mr Allsop History (@MrAllsopHistory) June 5, 2019
— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) June 5, 2019
— Deep Fat Fried (@Deepfatfriedpod) June 5, 2019
Make no mistake, YouTube has declared all out war on any independent creators. It doesn’t matter if you’re conservative, center-right, center-left, or liberal. Refuse to toe their line and dance to their tune and you will be destroyed.
Free speech on YouTube is in the endgame now. I suspect once the dust settles there will be nothing left.