Not everybody who faces abuse on social media platforms has a powerful voice, but Carlos Maza is a journalist with a large Twitter following who is well-known for his political and media analysis on Vox’s YouTube channel. So people took notice when Maza called out YouTube last week over years of racist, homophobic mockery from Steven Crowder, a popular right-wing YouTuber.
“I’m f---ing pissed at @YouTube,” Maza wrote, “which claims to support its LGBT creators, and has explicit policies against harassment and bullying.”
While he waited for YouTube to respond, the abuse continued. Crowder kept attacking Maza on his YouTube channel, accusing the journalist of being part of a “giant corporate media entity trying to silence voices they don’t like.” Maza’s Twitter DMs filled with “hundreds of messages saying I should kill myself, or that they will kill me,” he told The Washington Post.
Finally, after nearly a week, YouTube addressed Maza’s complaint, saying Crowder had not violated its policies.
The company’s response highlighted a regular criticism of the platform: YouTube promotes itself as a supportive space where anyone can have a voice, and yet the platform makes it easy for creators to profit from bigoted speech while appearing hesitant to meaningfully support vulnerable creators who bear the brunt of those attacks. Read more via Washington Post