On June 5, 2019, as it faced mounting pressure to deplatform comedian Steven Crowder over some of his jokes about former Vox host Carlos Maza, YouTube surprisingly stood up for the right of its creators to speak freely and told Maza and his legacy media allies that Crowder’s videos did not violate YouTube’s policies.
“As an open platform, it’s crucial for us to allow everyone–from creators to journalists to late-night TV hosts–to express their opinions w/in the scope of our policies. Opinions can be deeply offensive, but if they don’t violate our policies, they’ll remain on our site,” YouTube tweeted at the time.
But just a few hours later, YouTube backed down and decided that despite its previous admission that Crowder hadn’t broken any rules, it would now be demonetizing his channel.
Since that moment, YouTube has become increasingly focused on removing what it deems to be “controversial” content, set concerning content moderation precedents, and slowly chipped away at comedy, commentary, criticism, and independent journalism with many other genres also experiencing collateral damage because of these policies…
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