YouTube has de-monetized popular right-wing commentator Steven Crowder, as backlash continues to grow following its defense of keeping the channel live despite it containing homophobic content.
The firm has been facing fresh criticism after it told a gay reporter that homophobic harassment he received from the conservative YouTuber doesn't violate its anti-harassment policies.
Carlos Maza, host of the Vox news series Strikethrough, detailed the persistent abuse he has faced from YouTuber Steven Crowder, who counts more than 3.8 million subscribers on the platform.
In response to Maza's complaints, YouTube defended Crowder's comments by saying the criticisms were an example of debate, rather than harassment.
It later appeared to backtrack somewhat, and said on Wednesday afternoon that it would suspend ads from the channel until Crowder removes a link to his merchandise store, where he sells T-shirts with slogans such as 'Socialism is for F*gs.'
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YouTube is facing fresh criticism after it told a gay reporter that homophobic harassment he received from a conservative commentator doesn't violate its anti-harassment policies
The firm said it arrived at this decision after it determined Crowder's channel had exhibited a 'pattern of egregious actions' against the broader YouTube community.
YouTube also determined that the channel violated its Partner Program policies, though the firm didn't say the specific policies Crowder violated.
'In the past, we felt our responses to some of these situations were slow and didn't always address our broader community's concerns,' YouTube wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.
'Our ultimate goal here is to streamline our response so we can make better, faster decisions and communicate them clearly.'
The decision comes a day after Maza shared a compilation video of clips from Crowder's show wherein he can be heard attacking the Vox host, calling him a 'gay Mexican,' 'little queer,' 'lispy sprite' and a 'token Vox gay atheist sprite.'
'These videos make a target of ridiculous harassment, and it makes my life sort of miserable,' Maza wrote in a tweet.
'I waste a lot of time blocking abusive Crowder fanboys, and this s*** derails your mental health.
'...This has been going on for years, and I've tried to flag this s*** on several occasions. But YouTube is never going to actually enforce its policies.
'Because Crowder has 3 million YouTube subscribers, and enforcing their rules would get them accused of anti-conservative bias,' he added.
After Maza detailed his situation publicly, he said he began receiving an influx of hateful messages from Crowder's viewers.
YouTube's community guidelines state that it prohibits 'content that is deliberately posted in order to humiliate someone, makes hurtful and negative personal comments/videos about another person, or that incites others to harass or threaten individuals on or off YouTube.'
In response to Maza's complaints, YouTube initially defended Crowder's comments by saying the criticisms were an example of debate, rather than harassment
YouTube later appeared to backtrack somewhat, and said on Wednesday afternoon that it would suspend ads from the channel until Crowder removes a link to his merchandise store, where he sells T-shirts with slogans such as 'Socialism is for F*gs'
YouTube says it doesn't allow content or behavior meant to harass, threaten or bully others.
It encourages users to report content or activity that they believe