Conservative commentator Steven Crowder’s popular YouTube account has been locked and demonetized for allegedly violating the social media giant’s guidelines. The channel has been locked for one week, while his content has been demonetized indefinitely.
Crowder announced the YouTube actions against him on Monday in an Instagram post. He accused the company of targeting conservative voices and teased to have “something for them” soon.
“I’ve been warning about this for a long time and now it’s here. BigTech, and specifically Youtube, have painted a target on Conservative’s backs for years, with yours truly being target #1,” Crowder wrote.
“Today, Google/YouTube just fired a HUGE shot across our bow. They are no longer enforcing ‘community guidelines,’ but creating entirely new ones with the express purpose of removing any and all Conservative voices of dissent,” he charged. “For the crime of investigative journalism, we are forbidden from uploading, posting or live-streaming for an entire week on the main channel. Don’t worry, we’ve got something for them.”
The ban is not Crowder’s first trouble with YouTube. His channel was previously suspended for more than a year before being reinstated in August 2020.
YouTube has yet to specify which aspects of its community guidelines Crowder has allegedly violated. Conservative content has been targeted as alleged hate speech in the past, a category considered in violation of the tech giant’s guidelines.
Crowder is not alone in being shut down by YouTube. Following the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot, President Donald Trump’s account was shut down for allegedly inciting violence. The action followed similar account shutdowns from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and a host of other social media providers.
In contrast, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) had documented a wide range of anti-Semitic channels and videos YouTube has allowed to actively operate on its network. An October 2020 YouTube message from Louis Farrakhan notes, “Those of you that say that you’re Jews — I will not even give you the honor of calling you a Jew. You are not a Jew. You’re ‘so-called’ [Jews]. You’re Satan.”
There are plenty of YouTube videos from the Ayatollah of Iran as well. I’m sure his speeches are family friendly and politically correct. Plenty of neo-Nazi videos too.
But it doesn’t seem to matter what you say on YouTube—unless you happen to be an outspoken conservative voice.
Trump recently announced he will soon be starting his own social media platform. The move comes at a time when conservatives need a place to call home that won’t reject them the first time they question election results or speak against socialism in America.
The downside is that segmenting conservatives from the rest of the nation’s views will increasingly remove patriotic efforts from the mainstream. What has taken place across network news will continue to spread to social media. There will be liberal social media and conservative social media, just like cable news has liberal and conservative channels.
In some ways, it’s fun to stay with people who are like you. It’s safe and welcoming. No threat of being kicked out. But there’s the danger that the divide increases, and in many cases, the progressive side grows larger while conservatives are restricted to the smaller outlets.