In an abrupt reversal amid an ongoing online firestorm, YouTube announced Wednesday that it would block conservative commentator Steven Crowder from making any money on videos he uploaded to the site, following a torrent of outrage from left-wing groups about insulting remarks he made about a gay political personality working at Vox.
YouTube, a Google subsidiary, claimed Crowder had engaged in a “continued egregious actions that have harmed the broader community,” but acknowledged that Crowder’s videos “did not violate our Community Guidelines.” The company stopped short of banning Crowder and deleting his videos entirely, as many progressive groups and journalists demanded.
Crowder’s demonetization, in turn, prompted conservatives to renew charges of large-scale censorship and hypocrisy against the big tech giant. Several right-leaning content creators, as well as nonpartisan journalists documenting hate speech, charged that YouTube was engaged in an broad “purge” Wednesday against their channels, which were not directly related to the Crowder dispute.
“Vox is still going to be pissed; they’re not going to be happy with this,” Crowder said in a video posted to his Twitter account after learning about YouTube’s action, calling the situation a brewing “Adpocalypse.” Crowder has more than 3.7 million subscribers on YouTube.
“It’s not a win,” he continued, “because their goal is to completely get rid of people. We’re at a point in time right now where people can still have a voice, but a lot of people are going to lose their ability to lose revenue.”
“Their goal is to completely get rid of people.”— Steven Crowder
In a livestream Wednesday afternoon, Crowder highlighted a series of unpunished hateful comments made by liberal commentators — including Stephen Colbert’s reference to President Trump as “Putin’s c–kholster,” and Samantha Bee’s mockery of Ivanka Trump as a “feckless c–t.”
The episode began May 30 with a viral Twitter post by left-wing Vox personality Carlos Maza, which contained video montage of derogatory comments Crowder had made about Maza in the past two years. In the various clips, Crowder variously refers to Maza as an “angry little queer,” a “gay Mexican,” and “Mr. Lispy queer from Vox.”
Maza, an openly gay partisan activist, has himself previously used aggressive language on social media. “Milkshake them all,” he wrote May 21, referring to right-wing activists. “Humiliate them at every turn. Make them dread public organizing.”