YouTube bans insults based on race, gender expression and sexual orientation
Google-ownedÂ YouTubeÂ will no longer allow anyone on its platform to post content that â€œmaliciously insultsâ€ others based on protected traits including race, gender expression and sexual orientation, the companyÂ announcedÂ Wednesday.
The change, which was issued as part ofÂ YouTubeâ€™s regular harassment policy update, comes after the company was forced toÂ publicly address a harassment claimÂ one of its creators lodged against another. In late May, Vox journalist Carlos Maza, who identifies as gay, spoke out about repeated harassment he said he experienced from conservative YouTube host Steven Crowder, who regularly made fun of Mazaâ€™s race and sexual orientation.
Mazaâ€™s story sparked a public outcry against YouTube, urging the company to take action against Crowder. YouTube initially said Crowderâ€™s comments didnâ€™t violate its policies, although they were â€œhurtful.â€ Shortly after, YouTubeÂ flip-floppedÂ and decided to suspend Crowderâ€™s monetization on the platform. YouTube CEO Susan WojcickiÂ apologizedÂ to the LGBTQ community at a tech conference in June but said it was still â€œthe right decisionâ€ to conclude the videos did not violate the companyâ€™s policies.
The backlash from LGBTQ creators continued through the summer however, with a group of eight complainantsÂ filing a discrimination suit against the companyÂ in August.
YouTubeâ€™s policy updates address other harassment behaviors as well. The company will now suspend members of its YouTube Partner Program for channels â€œthat repeatedly brush up against our harassment policy,â€ meaning they will no longer be able to make money off the platform. YouTube may also consider removing content from the channel and potentially terminating the channel if the behavior continues.
YouTube will also continue to roll out a feature that lets creators choose to review comments thatÂ YouTube flags as potentially inappropriate