YouTube bans ‘implied’ threats

Agence France-Presse . San Francisco | Published: 01:07, Dec 13,2019


YouTube broadened its anti-harassment policies on Wednesday to include a ban on ‘implied’ threats along with insults based on race, gender identity or sexual orientation.

‘We will no longer allow content that maliciously insults someone based on protected attributes such as their race, gender expression, or sexual orientation,’ global head of trust and safety Matt Halprin said in an online post.

‘This applies to everyone, from private individuals, to YouTube creators, to public officials.’

YouTube already bans explicit threats, but now ‘veiled or implied’ threats will be barred as well, according to Halprin.

‘This includes content simulating violence toward an individual or language suggesting physical violence may occur,’ Halprin said.

‘No individual should be subject to harassment that suggests violence.’

The changes stem in part from YouTube’s pledge earlier this year to crack down on harassment by video creators.

The platform was berated for leaving up videos from Steven Crowder, a right-wing commentator who regularly insulted gay Vox producer Carlos Maza based on his sexual orientation and Cuban heritage.

Maza’s video montage of insults from Crowder over a period of years — including ‘lispy sprite’ and ‘angry little queer’ — went viral, prompting a YouTube investigation that concluded they didn’t violate its hate speech policies.

In the case of Crowder’s channel, a review found that individually, the flagged videos did not violate YouTube guidelines, spokesman Chris Dale explained in an online post in June.

‘However, in the subsequent days, we saw the widespread harm to the YouTube community resulting from the on-going pattern of egregious behaviour, took a deeper look, and made the decision to suspend monetisation,’ Dale said.

He promised the platform would scrutinize its harassment policies and update them.

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