Recently, YouTube decided to consider homophobic slurs as “criticism” rather than harassment.
The decision came after Vox video journalist Carlos Maza published content highlighting his ongoing homophobic comment battle with Steven Crowder, a rightwing YouTube personality.
Maza compiled a video of homophobic comments Crowder has made about him over time. Crowder calls Maza a “gay Mexican,” “token Vox gay atheist sprite” and “lispy queer.”
In explanation, Maza notes that the verbal abuse from Crowder has been going on for years ad that despite flagging the comments, YouTube has done absolutely nothing to enforce their harassment policy.
In response, YouTube said: “Our teams spent the last few days conducting an in-depth review of the videos flagged to us, and while we found language that was clearly hurtful, the videos as posted don’t violate our policies… Opinions can be deeply offensive, but if they don’t violate our policies, they’ll remain on our site.”
After this announcement, people everywhere, including members of the LGBTQ community, voiced their disapproval — so vehemently that YouTube knew it had to do something to right the situation.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki apologized to the LGBTQ community after their failure to do anything definitive against the harassment that Maza was experiencing.
At a Code Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, Wojcicki said: “I know that the decisions we made were very hurtful to the LGBTQ community and that wasn’t out intention at all. That was not our intention, and we were really sorry about that, and I do want to explain why we made the decision we did.”
Yet, despite the apology, YouTube decided to keep the content up on their platform, although without ads. However, as most of the content is offensive, they aren’t paid by advertisers most times anyways.
YouTube’s decision was really more of a peace offering which fell flat, without the root of the problem cut out at all.