It’s a win for free speech. Conservative comedian and political commentator Steven Crowder will once again be allowed to draw ad revenue on his YouTube channel.
YouTube lifted the restrictions against Crowder on August 12, more than a year after he was originally demonetized.
Crowder was originally restricted on the platform in June of 2019 after Vox contributor Carlos Maza accused Crowder of making homophobic and racist statements towards him in a since-removed tweet.
Maza’s accusations came to light on May 31, 2019, and YouTube promised that they would review Crowder’s flagged videos. On June 4, the platform tweeted a reply to Maza’s initial post, stating, “while we found language that was clearly hurtful, the videos as posted don’t violate our policies.”
Although YouTube did not take any initial action against Crowder, the pressure from the left and the media only increased, and some in the press called for Crowder’s channel to be “shut down completely.”
On June 5, YouTube released a statement on its official blog, reversing its earlier decision. The statement read in part:
“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.”
Following this decision, YouTube revised its community guidelines, and demonetized Crowder’s channel.
However, this reinstatement was not simply a result of YouTube’s good graces. “The videos that triggered Crowder’s suspension targeting Maza have been removed from the platform, according to the company,” reported The Verge.
“Creators who are suspended from [YouTube’s Partner Program] can reapply for access, and after careful consideration, we will be reinstating him into the program today. If there are further violations on this channel we will take appropriate action,” said a YouTube spokesperson in a comment to The Verge. The spokesperson went on to say, “Mr. Crowder has also taken steps to address the behavior that led to his suspension and has demonstrated a track record of policy-compliant behavior.”
On August 13, Crowder tweeted: “Crowder: 1[,] The Left: 0 #CrowderRemonetized,” along with a clip of that day’s YouTube video, the first since the restriction was lifted.
The battle is never over, though. YouTube is still able to demonetize individual videos, and at any point, the platform could change its community guidelines again and restrict or even remove Crowder’s channel at any time.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact YouTube at 650-253-0000 and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.