YouTube has made a serious mistake. They usually try to pretend to be above all the petty bickering going on in their medium, intervening only when “objective” criteria are violated, but they slipped and openly ignored their own rules in the case of popular asshole, Steven Crowder. He’s been spewing bigoted bullshit for as long as he’s had a channel, and one could argue that that is the source of his popularity. Now, though, when he’s called on his use of incessant racial and gay slurs, YouTube punted.
Since I started working at Vox, Steven Crowder has been making video after video "debunking" Strikethrough. Every single video has included repeated, overt attacks on my sexual orientation and ethnicity. Here's a sample: pic.twitter.com/UReCcQ2Elj
— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) May 31, 2019
I don’t know what to say.
@YouTube has decided not to punish Crowder, after he spent two years harassing me for being gay and Latino.
I don't know what to say. https://t.co/EFvWCNvPms
— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) June 4, 2019
To add to the irony, it’s Pride Month, and YouTube has put up their logo in rainbow colors…while the constant assault against LGBTQ creators is in full flood, unchecked by any rules or authority.
“I think controversy and the very aggressive communities that can exist similar to Crowder, I think that drives engagement, and that drives views, and that drives advertising revenue,” he said.
YouTube, Amer said, knows exactly what it’s doing.
“When you have a platform like YouTube does, you have a choice. You can make the world a better place or you can manipulate it to make as much money as possible, and YouTube is staunchly in the place of making as much money as possible,” they said.
Is anyone surprised? That’s always been the goal of the companies that dominate social media. They aren’t altruistic in the slightest.
However, the decision to support only combative content isn’t the only way to make money, it’s just the easiest, least mindful way. It’s the same decision made by proponents of reality TV; why put any effort into quality writing, good production values, or interesting and educational content when you can throw a couple of idiots in an arena, prod them a bit, and people will contentedly watch them flail at each other?
Ray Ceeya says
Thanks for reminding me. I haven’t heard from Contrapoints in a while. She’s one of my favorite you tubers on this subject and I haven’t heard anything in a while, hope she’s OK.
YouTube has since (partly) reversed their decision and stopped allowing Steve Crowder from having his videos monitized. He can still post his crap but does not make any ad money off of them.
slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says
Not much to say here. Only startled by using my favorite punk “author”. I am a big fan of Harlan. His weird stories were quite refreshing, deliberately obnoxious to be different.
PZ Myers says
He also wrote some excellent media criticism.
Andreas Avester says
That’s what everybody does. Consider Facebook, who have a habit of verbally and visually pretending to care about the LGBTQIA community. Simultaneously, they also make it inherently impossible for trans people to have a Facebook account (many trans people have legal names that do not match their gender identity; this is the case also for me, and Facebook just banned me from using their website).
Of course, nobody is surprised. The goal is to make money. The clients are people who purchase advertisements. We, the people, are the product that’s being sold. To put it more precisely, it’s our “eyeball time” and our “private” personal data that’s being bought and sold, but still, it doesn’t make me feel any better about the way how I’m being treated.
Mike Smith says
Yeah sorry I don’t think Crowder’s speech crossed the line that should be curtailed on a mostly open platform. It is annoying, vulgar but not remotely close to, say, incitement.
Robert Serrano says
Contrapoints is alive and kicking. She released a new video a few days ago.
SC (Salty Current) says
I love this thread.
Um… why is there a picture of Harlan Ellison’s the Glass Teat opposite the title of the piece?
chigau (違う) says
Because Harlan was writing about television, the “old” wasteland.
TheInternet™ is the “new” wasteland. Harlan is dead.
It’s an homage. Or a metaphor.
chigau (違う) says
Youtube seems to be suffering from two problems that are… serious freaking problems – Analyst burn out (there was a study not long ago on this issue), and lawyer-ism. The former is the known characteristic which says, “If you hire someone to keep watching crap 24/7, looking for bad behavior, no matter what code of ethics the person started out with, they will eventually either stop paying attention, or worse, start believing the content.” The latter is what you get with slander/libel cases, but also with a lot of other issues too, where, “The problem is not actionable until someone reports it.”
Both of these are a serious issue when you claim to have “standard of conduct” on your service. You can’t pay someone next to nothing, then have them bombarded with crap endlessly, without any down time, psychological help, or just.. sending them to look at cat videos, or something do decompress, without them going off the rails. I don’t care if you somehow dragged them from an alternate dimension and thus only hire Vulcans, or something, its still going to go bad. It will still go bad if you only react to “reported” incidents.
Porivil Sorrens says
While we’re at it, Crowder should get banned from real life too.
Oh look, who weighted in on this issue, palling around with our favorite white supremacists who is wildly agreeing with him:
“Useful idiot” was never more applicable.
@14, WTF, did he really just say that Youtube caved to the “powerful” latino, gay journalist?!?!? Then again he was on Faux News where apparently every day is opposite day.