- YouTube has restored conservative YouTube star Steven Crowder’s ability to make money from ads running against his videos.
- Crowder was suspended from YouTube’s partner program, removing his ability to cash in on his YouTube presence, in June 2019 for harassing fellow YouTuber Carlos Maza with homophobic slurs.
- Crowder had described the openly queer and progressive commentator Maza in 2019 as a “lispy queer” and “gay Latino” in videos that have now been removed.
- Maza criticized the decision on Wednesday, saying YouTube “has a tremendous profit incentive to keep hate speech on the platform.”
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Conservative YouTuber Steven Crowder can again make cash from ads running against his videos, a year after having monetization suspended.
Crowder’s ability to enable paid ads was suspended on June 5 2019, after progressive journalist Carlos Maza called him out for homophobic harassment.
A YouTube spokeswoman confirmed to Business Insider on Thursday that Crowder’s monetization had been restored, adding that: “If there are further violations on this channel we will take appropriate action.”
Crowder is a former Fox News contributor, and a high-profile conservative figure. He bills his YouTube channel as “the number one conservative late night comedy show” and has more than 4 million subscribers.
Carlos Maza is a former journalist with Vox and popular for his commentary on media and progressive policy. He is Latino and openly gay.
In videos through 2019, Steven Crowder described Carlos Maza as a “lispy queer” and a “gay Latino”, provoking outrage from Maza and his supporters, who described the language as homophobic and racist. At the time, Maza was still working at Vox.
Crowder claimed the language was comedic, and initially, You Tube said Crowder’s videos didn’t violate its policies — but a day later, the video platform appeared to change tack. It said Crowder’s channel had been demonetized “due to continued egregious actions that have harmed the broader community.”
YouTube added that Crowder’s monetization had also been suspended over an offensive shirt being sold on his site that featured a homophobic slur.
Maza: YouTube has incentive to ‘keep hate speech’
Maza, who has since left Vox to post solo videos on YouTube, on Wednesday criticized the site’s decision to restore Crowder’s ability to make money from video ads.
He wrote on Twitter: “YouTube has reinstated Steven Crowder into its Partner Program, meaning they’ll once again allow him to monetize his videos. Demonetizing was already insufficient, but this decision proves that YouTube has no real interest in enforcing it’s anti-hate policies.”
He added that YouTube “has a tremendous profit incentive to keep hate speech on the platform.”
Maza pointed to a recent video on Crowder’s channel that calls the Black Lives Matter movement a “domestic terrorist organization,” and another video titled “When Transgenders Attack! Change My Mind Edition.”
“These are all in violation of YouTube’s policies. Not a single one has been removed,” Maza said.
YouTube’s spokeswoman wouldn’t comment on the specific videos highlighted by Maza, but noted that not all videos on a monetized channel would qualify to have paid ads running against them. In other words, some videos may remain de-monetized if they don’t meet YouTube’s “ad-friendly” guidance.
YouTube also said the videos that resulted in Crowder’s suspension, including those targeting Maza, had been removed. The spokeswoman added that Crowder had also stopped selling the offensive shirt and committed not to selling it again in future.
Here’s YouTube’s full statement:
“Over a year ago, Steven Crowder was suspended from the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) for harassing a fellow creator and harming the YouTube community. This incident exposed gaps in our Community Guidelines, so last December we updated our policies to better address patterns of harassing behavior and our work here is ongoing. Separately, Mr. Crowder has also taken steps to address the behavior that led to his suspension and has demonstrated a track record of policy-compliant behavior. Creators who are suspended from YPP can reapply for access, and after careful consideration, we will be reinstating him into the program today. If there are further violations on this channel we will take appropriate action.”