YouTube. Not the LGBT defenders you were looking for

"Opinions can be deeply offensive, but if they don’t violate our policies, they’ll remain on our site.”


I really, really hope this gets the shame and attention it deserves. This isn’t about “free speech” or “targeting conservatives” (as I’m sure it’ll be framed). It’s about YouTube specifically condoning racist & homophobic targeted bullying and harassment of a well-known gay YouTube content creator. During Pride month, no less.


It isn’t about free speech? I mean, sure it’s not 1st amendment free speech because it’s not the government, but isn’t it about the principle of free speech?

No. It’s fucking harassment. Sanctioned by YouTube.


Not at all. YouTube has policies against bullying and harassment, and Stephen Crowder has been bullying and harassing Carlos Maza of Vox for the past few years via YouTube. He gets millions of views on videos calling Carlos a “lispy queer” while wearing a t-shirt with Carlos’ face on it calling him a “fag”. He’s been harassed and doxxed. YouTube’s official response is that they’re OK with that.


What principle are you even defending here?


Is it? Harassment laws elements include either a physical presence or direct contact. Talking about someone in the 3rd person, unless calling for specific acts of violence or directly threatening the victim would seem to be protected speech.

This isn’t about physical harassment. It’s about a prominent YouTube personality repeatedly, for years, violating YouTube’s own policies about targeted harassment via their platform. And when reported and investigated, being found innocent, because YouTube favors clicks and views over enforcing their own policies.


Some legal examples:

  1. Either (a) communicates with a person, anonymously or otherwise, by telephone, or by telegraph, mail or any other form of written communication, in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm; or (b) causes a communication to be initiated by mechanical or electronic means or otherwise with a person, anonymously or otherwise, by telephone, or by telegraph, mail or any other form of written communication, in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm; or
  2. Makes a telephone call, whether or not a conversation ensues, with no purpose of legitimate communication; or


I know in modern day there’s a strange extremism around free speech, but targeted harassment was never conscionable. To defend a moral or ethical act with “not technically illegal” is beyond using any level of reason just because you found an obsessive hobby-horse. There are things that are more important that just meeting the standard of barely-legal - a platform’s encouragement of harassment is not something to take pride in.


To be clear, I’m not defending these acts. And I’m certainly not doing it on the grounds of “it’s technically legal.” I’m just pointing out that it actually is a debate about free speech, and that people who (in other threads) may be staunch free speech supporters might want to recognize that this is the second edge of the same sword, and that we might have to come to grips with the fact that speech should not be free - or at least not as free as it currently is.

BTW your legal examples would not cover the acts referenced, because again it requires contact with the victim.

No. It absolutely IS NOT. It’s about a company’s own bullying and harassment policies, which you have clearly not familiarized yourself with.

I’m not sure why you’re repeatedly, in multiple threads, speaking up for bullies and harassers on the basis of “free speech”, but it’s ignorant, insulting, and a poor argument.


Again, you are mischaracterizing or misunderstanding my position.

If this is only about YouTube’s policy, then this is a far less interesting debate than I expected. If it’s YouTube’s policy, it’s theirs to enforce or interpret as they like. If this is about the broader issue of what speech should be allowed on platforms like YouTube, then I think there’s greater value to this discussion.

Awww, I’m sorry to disappoint you that our discussion of YouTube not enforcing their harassment policy to protect LGBT creators isn’t interesting enough for you! Maybe you should find a new place to debate your absolutist positions on free speech!


No, I like it here.

This cannot be a debate about what YouTube can do, it had to be about what they should do. And that means talking about the broader issue of freedom of speech, not just in the context of their interpretations of their own policy.

Thanks for your contribution. The slide is free, feel free to have another go in the playground.


In a broader sense, whether on YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, TikTok or Twitter, there’s a big difference between someone saying “I hate gay people” (which is hateful, but protected) and specifically harassing and bullying a specific person and directing their followers to harass and disrupt their life. The latter falls under the category of ‘hate speech’, which YouTube is refusing to recognize, but which is absolutely happening in this situation.


That conversation is incredibly boring though because the tendency in such conversations seems to be something along the lines of “What A feels unable to say is a freedom of speech issue, what B feels unable to say because of A making their life hell is not a freedom of speech issue because [cognitive dissonance noises]”

Which is why I imagine you got such a negative response. In my experience anyone who wants to talk about freedom of speech absolutism is just a long annoying effort to make someone aware of their own biases, compartmentalizing and priorities while they insist they have none of those and are just being logical. The epitome of that saying about playing chess with a pigeon.

Contrapoints did a good video about this topic though if you want someone to actually pick the question apart in detail.


Y’see, I actually found that video pretty interesting and not incredibly boring.

I’m not saying the topic is necessarily boring - it’s the handholding someone through their specific cognitive dissonance that is. With little information on you, your conversational goals, or what you consider important about creating in the world, I can’t really know whether it’s gonna be like discussing religion with a scholar vs discussing religion with someone who’s trying to convert you at a bus stop, ya know?

Good analogy. How about both? I mean, actually that’s what I see happening in these forums, and why I usually like the discussions here more than other places; there’s a diversity of thinking, and (sometimes) less dogma and a willingness to change positions. And I happen to think a broader conversation is more interesting. I want broad change, not just change at YouTube.