YouTube this week removed an extremely racist video of conservative commentator Steven Crowder citing the violation of the COVID-19 policy for misinformation – not the hate speech policy – as the reason for the removal. Unexplained, however, the video is not at all in violation of the company’s hate speech policy, told the company OneZero, despite Crowder and his co-host making numerous racist comments about black farmers.
“Our hate speech policy bans content that promotes hatred against groups based on their race,” a YouTube spokesman said. OneZero. “While this video from the Steven Crowder channel is offensive, it does not violate this policy.”
If you were curious, it’s here YouTube’s Full Hate Speech Policy. And if you want to hear the offensive comments from Crowder’s show, Mediasake cut them in this tweet. I will warn you that they are terrible.
This means that YouTube has a ridiculously high bar for hate speech, such as OneZero’s Will Oremus points out:
You are free to mock people, make caricatures and belittle them on the basis of their race, as long as you do not get along and say you literally hate them.
While you can argue that YouTube only applies the policies and not the policies you may apply, keep in mind that YouTube has the ability to change the policy whenever you want. This is what it did almost two years ago in 2019, updating its policy on hate speech “by specifically banning videos that claim that a group is superior to justifying discrimination, segregation or exclusion on the basis of qualities”, including race and gender.
That must means that hate speech should not rise to the level of “hate speech” (the language used by YouTube in the past) OneZero) to result in a policy violation, or to stop promoting Crowder as a YouTube Partner.
Speaking of YouTube also said in the 2019 report that it would also take action against hate speech that comes “to the line” and warns that “channels that repeatedly speak out against our hate speech policy will be suspended from the YouTube partner program.” In 2020, after Crowder’s YouTube partner status was originally reset, YouTube said The edge it would ‘take appropriate action’ if there were more violations on its channel.
What will it take now?