YouTube eliminated an especially racist video from conservative commentator Steven Crowder this week, citing violations of the platform’s COVID-19 misinformation coverage — not its hate speech coverage — as the rationale for the elimination. Inexplicably, although, the video didn’t violate the corporate’s hate speech insurance policies in any respect, the company told OneZero, regardless of Crowder and his co-hosts making quite a few racist feedback about Black farmers.
“Our hate speech policy prohibits content promoting hatred against groups based on their race,” a YouTube spokesperson tells OneZero. “While offensive, this video from the Steven Crowder channel does not violate this policy.”
In case you have been curious, right here is YouTube’s full hate speech policy. And if you wish to hear the offensive feedback from Crowder’s present, Media Issues clipped them in this tweet. I’ll warn you that they’re terrible.
This implies YouTube has a ridiculously excessive bar for hate speech, as OneZero’s Will Oremus factors out:
You’re free to mock, caricature, and belittle individuals primarily based on their race, simply so long as you don’t come proper out and say you actually hate them.
Whilst you might argue that YouTube’s simply implementing the insurance policies it has, not the insurance policies you may want, do not forget that YouTube has the flexibility to alter these insurance policies at any time when it likes. That’s what it did nearly two years ago in 2019, updating its hate speech coverage “by specifically prohibiting videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities” together with race and gender.
That ought to imply that hate speech doesn’t need to rise to the extent of “promoting hatred” (the language YouTube used to OneZero) to lead to a coverage violation, or to cease selling Crowder as a YouTube Accomplice.
Talking of which, YouTube additionally stated in that 2019 submit that it will take motion on hate speech that comes “right up to the line” as effectively, warning that “Channels that repeatedly brush up against our hate speech policies will be suspended from the YouTube Partner program.” In 2020, after Crowder’s YouTube Accomplice standing was initially reinstated, YouTube told The Verge it will “take appropriate action” if there have been extra violations on his channel.
What is going to it take now?