YouTube's week from hell: How the debate over free speech online exploded after a conservative star with millions of subscribers was accused of homophobic harassment
- YouTube had one of the roughest weeks in recent memory after Vox journalist Carlos Maza accused the platform of letting conservative star Steven Crowder continually harass him with homophobic remarks in his videos.
- The accusations sparked an investigation, which eventually found that Crowder had not violated any YouTube policies.
- After a large amount of public backlash, YouTube demonetized Crowder's channel, sparking even more complaints from both sides of the aisle.
- The conflict is only the latest in the emerging battle over how to control speech online.
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Before this week, Carlos Maza, also known as @gaywonk on Twitter, was a minor celebrity among those interested in media and politics. Only a few followers shy of 100,000 on the microblogging platform, Maza carved a space out for himself on the progressive and wonky internet through his video essays on Vox, previously hosted on progressive media watchdog site Media Matter For America, that provide an ounce of opinion and graphics per ounce of reporting and facts.
But Maza's profile is quickly rising after he took to Twitter May 30 to call out Google's YouTube for allegedly failing to enforce its harassment policies on videos made by conservative new media star Steven Crowder, who currently has 3.8 million subscribers on YouTube.What followed from Maza's tweetstorm was just the latest conflict in the emerging war over free speech, hate speech, and content moderation on the largest platforms on the internet.
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