A Bloomberg investigation of YouTube last April found that videos produced for an extreme, alt-right audience are just as popular as music, sports, and gaming on the platform.

These channels allow for the rampant spread of misinformation, hate speech, and harassment. Carlos Maza, host of "Strikethrough" a Vox-produced YouTube show that explores the challenges facing the news media in the age of Trump, perfectly illustrated the cycle of abuse in a recent tweet thread.

Maza knows the cycle first-hand because he has been targeted by conservative YouTuber Steven Crowder who routinely refers to Maza by derogatory terms such as "anchor baby" and "lispy queer."

Maza says that Crowder's comments have resulted in a "a wall of homophobic [and] racist abuse on Instagram and Twitter."

After repeatedly flagging Crowder's YouTube videos and receiving zero response, Maza took to Twitter to vent his frustration.


After the tweet thread went viral, YouTube responded by announcing it would investigate Crowder's channel.

Crowder responded to the investigation by condemning those who have harassed Maza. "I have always condemned and continue to discourage any and all forms of doxxing or targeted harassment of anyone online, ok?" he said in a video response.

But he defended calling him a "lispy queer" because "it's funny and this is a comedy show" and because Maza refers to himself as queer.

Crowder's defense is disingenuous because there's a big difference between using the term queer to refer to someone's sexual orientation versus using it as an insult. His defense is tougher to believe when he uses the term "fag" to disparage people.

Crowder also claimed that the investigation was a form of corporate censorship and an attempt by YouTube to please NBC, a Vox Media investor.

Maza responded to Crowder by calling his assertions "batshit."

And yet after all of that, YouTube's investigation proved mostly fruitless. Though the company apologized to LGBTQ groups for Crowder's harassment, they've decided to let him keep his YouTube channel.

Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash
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