YouTube bans ‘malicious insults and veiled threats’

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After a dispute back in June in which a gay Youtube-er said he had been verbally abused in a conservative YouTube star’s videos, the platform will no longer allow videos that “maliciously insult someone” based on “protected attributes” such as race, gender identity or sexuality.

The video-sharing service will also disallow “implied threats of violence” as part of its new harassment policy, according to the BBC.

At the time of the dispute, YouTube said its rules had not been broken. But it has now deleted many of the videos in question.

At the center of the dispute was Carlos Maza, who presented videos for Vox and said he had been the subject of repeated abuse from conservative Steven Crowder, who has a talk show on YouTube. Crowder had about four million subscribers at the time, while Vox had about six million.

Maza created a video compilation of all the times Crowder had made fun of his sexual orientation and ethnicity. Crowder said the language he had used to mock Maza was “friendly ribbing”.

YouTube said it had conducted an “in-depth review” and found “the videos as posted don’t violate our policies.” But it later restricted Crowder’s ability to earn advertising revenue due to “continued egregious actions.”

On Wednesday, YouTube is expected to delete several of Crowder’s videos that ran afoul of its updated harassment policy. It appears Crowder made the material private in advance.

As a result of the policy change, the Google-owned business also considered taking down clips of President Trump calling Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” to taunt her over her claim that she has distant Native-American heritage.

Prior to the change, YouTube had already banned videos that:

  • contained explicit threats of violence
  • bullied somebody about their appearance
  • revealed somebody’s personal information
  • encouraged viewers to harass an individual

The new policy also bans:

  • “veiled” or implied threats of violence, such as saying “you better watch out”
  • simulated violence towards an individual
  • malicious insults based on protected attributes such as race, gender expression or sexual orientation

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