Big Tech Censorship Getting Worse: YouTube Censors Popular Conservative Comedian Steven Crowder

Who will be next?

By Rachel Alexander Published on June 6, 2019

Big tech censorship of conservatives continues. Once they censored conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones and other rightwing figures. Now they’re targeting mainstream conservatives, including big influential ones. YouTube, which is owned by Google, just demonetized the videos of popular conservative comedian Steven Crowder. He will no longer be able to make money from them. 

His “Louder with Crowder” has more than 3.8 million YouTube subscribers. He’s not exactly Stream material. His latest show, titled “Debunking ‘Universal Income’ Scam,” gives a good example. It includes an invented video of Joe Biden’s video producer reacting to his getting handsy with a little girl (it starts at 5:25). It also includes a list of the top seven books for drag queen story hour (it starts at 14:30). One is “The Grooming Tree.”

The incident arose when Vox video host Carlos Maza went on a rampage demanding that YouTube censor Crowder. Maza’s Twitter name is “gaywonk” and his Twitter biography includes “Marxist pig. Tucker Carlson is a white supremacist.” He presents a video series called “Strikethrough” for the news site Vox.

Crowder started critiquing Maza’s videos two years ago. His critiques apparently began after Maza created a video calling for the removal of right-of-center perspectives from news coverage. Maza launched a twenty tweet, obscenity-laced tirade in response. He claimed that Crowder’s supporters attacked him every time Crowder talked about him. “These videos makes me a target of ridiculous harassment, and it makes life sort of miserable. I waste a lot of time blocking abusive Crowder fanboys, and this s*** derails your mental health” (asterisks added), he said in one tweet.

Crowder regularly speaks in inflammatory language as part of his shtick. He was joking.

Crowder is critical of homosexuality, and made fun of Maza with remarks on his being gay. Crowder defended his remarks as “friendly ribbing.” He said he probably used the term “lispy qu**r” because Maza talks with a lisp and refers to himself as a queer. Crowder points out that his show is a comedy show. The comedian regularly speaks in inflammatory language as part of his shtick. He was joking.

Crowder’s supporters were quick to point out that he was using terms Maza himself uses. “frisb714” wrote: “Well, do you disagree w/labels attributed 2 u by LWC ? I mean, u do call urself, gay,qu**r, mexican, atheist in public & on social media outlets. So why are u offended by his addressing u the way u address urself.”

YouTube’s Meddled Response

At first, on Tuesday, YouTube stated that Crowder had not violated their community standards. The company said the remarks were merely “deeply offensive” and “hurtful.” They still qualified as legitimate commentary and debate. 

YouTube prohibits hate speech, which it defines as “content promoting violence or hatred” against various types of people or groups. The company also forbids bullying, harassment and threats. This includes hurtful and negative comments, and comments designed to humiliate someone. But YouTube spokeswoman Andrea Faville admitted Crowder has never instructed his followers to harass Maza.

In follow-up tweets, the site said “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. Even if a video remains on our site, it doesn’t mean we endorse/support that viewpoint.” 

Maza also objected to one of the shirts Crowder sells, which states, “Socialism Is For F*gs” (the asterisk is on the t-shirt). That was the offense that led YouTube to demonetize the videos. YouTube told Crowder they would reverse the demonetization of his videos if he removed the link to the shirts. Crowder refused on free speech grounds.

Finally, on Wednesday, YouTube admitted it demonetized the site because of the entire channel, not just the shirts.

Hypocritical YouTube

YouTube hosts videos by comedians who have made far worse jokes than Crowder, jokes we don’t dare reprint here. Look up almost any of the most famous stand-up comedians. Yet they are not censored.

YouTube hosts videos by comedians who have made far worse jokes than Crowder, jokes we don’t dare reprint here.

Meza has a history of targeting people he doesn’t like. Last December, he tweeted, “Deplatforming works and we should use it way more aggressively.” His latest rampage is encouraging people to dump milkshakes on conservatives. This is assault, a criminal misdemeanor.

Crowder said this is an example of a powerful media company, Vox, trying to silence voices it doesn’t like. He warned that this is a “WAR on ALL independent creators.” He’s referring to it as #VoxAdpocalypse.

Not all people on the left want to see Crowder banned from YouTube. The LGBT-friendly left-wing publication The Stranger warns that if “YouTube does reverse its decision and start to ban everyone who mocks people for their sexuality or race, they’re going to have to ban a whole lot of qu**r people of color who enjoy making fun of straight white dudes next.” After all, “Crowder is a comic, doing exactly what comics do: Mocking a public figure. There’s nothing illegal about that.”

This Isn’t Over

So far, YouTube hasn’t gone so far as to remove Crowder’s videos. But if his videos are supposedly so offensive, then the company will probably do so at some point. Maza has made it clear he wants Crowder completely gone from YouTube. He’s now calling on LGBT employees at YouTube to resign from the company.

The problem, he says in another tweet, isn’t Crowder. “Again, the problem isn’t Crowder. There will always be [deleted] trying to get attention by being bigots. The problem is that YouTube is designed to give those a**holes a megaphone, push new followers in their directions, and keep them listening. It’s a weapon.”

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This latest censorship is troublesome because it’s now happening to mainstream, popular conservatives. The left dominates big tech, so it’s easy for them to persuade the companies to crack down on conservatives in the name of “hate speech” or something equally vague. Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro spoke out against it.

That’s brave of him. Because he’ll probably be next. Any mainstream conservative who dares to speak up is at risk of being censored by the big tech companies. Destroying them will have a major effect. Without bright leadership, the right will falter. The left and their comrades at big tech know what they’re doing.

Fortunately, the right is fighting back. The news is all over Twitter. Conservative columnist John Hawkins started a contest to draw attention to the incident.

Watch Crowder’s response to the censorship below.


Follow Rachel on Twitter at Rach_IC. Follow The Stream on Twitter at streamdotorg. Send tips to [email protected].

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