YouTube finally bans Nazi videos, promises tougher line on harassment, hate speech

YouTube struggles to deal with its policies on hate speech and harassment.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

YouTube has pledged to review its harassment policy in response to an ongoing conflict between two popular YouTube creators. 

The company has also announced plans to remove obvious hate speech and will ban "videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status".

Examples of hate speech include content that promotes or glorifies Nazi ideology, which it says is "inherently discriminatory". 

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YouTube will remove content wrongly claiming that violent events known to have happened, didn't happen. Examples include Holocaust denier content and videos promoting the so-called 'Sandy Hook Truther' agenda, which promotes the claim that the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary was a hoax. 

YouTube has also backflipped on its decision regarding a conflict between Carlos Maza, a journalist who presents for publisher, Vox, and conservative YouTuber Steven Crowder, who has repeatedly used derogatory language to attack Maza over his identity, for example, calling him a "lispy queer" and "gay Mexican". 

Maza last week posted a video cut on Twitter showing Crowder's repeated insults, which he said resulted in him receiving homophobic and racist abuse on Instagram and Twitter from Crowder's fans. Maza posted the video as part of a call on YouTube to enforce its polices against harassment and bullying.  

YouTube yesterday said it declined to take any action because although Crowder's language was "clearly hurtful" it did not violate its policies.  

However, late Wednesday evening YouTube changed its stance and decided to temporarily suspend monetization on Crowder's channel – a penalty that is less severe than 'demonetizing' a channel.  

"In the case of Crowder's channel, a thorough review over the weekend found that individually, the flagged videos did not violate our Community Guidelines. However, in the subsequent days, we saw the widespread harm to the YouTube community resulting from the ongoing pattern of egregious behavior, took a deeper look, and made the decision to suspend monetization," YouTube said

Crowder will be able to reinstate monetization once he addresses "all relevant issues with the channel", such as videos that violate its policies, and "offensive merchandise". YouTube clarified that Crowder would need to remove the links to his 'Socialism is for fags' t-shirt. 

YouTube said it will be taking a "hard look" at its harassment policies and will consult "experts, creators, journalists and those who have, themselves, been victims of harassment."

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