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Does YouTube enable hate speech? | The Stream

A spat between two popular YouTubers is calling into question how the company handles harassment on its platform.

Carlos Maza, host of the Vox series Strikethrough, is routinely the object of right-wing vlogger Steven Crowder’s ire. Last month, Maza tweeted a video compilation of all the bullying he says he’s received from Crowder. In a series of follow-up tweets, Maza argued that Crowder’s videos directly violate YouTube’s harassment policy which prohibits “content that is deliberately posted in order to humiliate someone”.

The controversy has sparked backlash by members of the LGBT community who are angered by YouTube’s decision to allow Crowder’s homophobic videos to stay on the platform.

“YouTube has always been a home for so many LGBTQ creators and that’s why it was so emotional, and though it was a hard decision, it was made harder that it came from us because we’ve been such an important home,” said YouTube CEO Suan Wokjcicki during her response to a question by an LGBT reporter at CodeCon, an annual technology conference.

Meanwhile, LGBT activists are pointing out the hypocrisy of YouTube celebrating LGBT Pride Month by changing its avatar on Twitter to reference the rainbow flag, a symbol associated with the pro-gay rights movement.

So is YouTube harboring harassment or an online home for free speech? We ask our panel that very question on this episode of The Stream.

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