YouTube announced that it will pull down thousands of accounts after updating its terms of service to forbid content that violates a newly expanded policy on the promotion of “hate speech” on the platform.
“Today, we’re taking another step in our hate speech policy by specifically prohibiting videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status,” the company said in a blog post on Wednesday.
“This would include, for example, videos that promote or glorify Nazi ideology, which is inherently discriminatory,” it added. “Finally, we will remove content denying that well-documented violent events, like the Holocaust or the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, took place.”
The new policy is expected to affect “thousands of channels” and “tens of thousands of videos,” a company spokesperson told TheWrap.
The platform has come under scrutiny in recent days after Carlos Maza, a writer at Vox and host of its “Strikethrough” media criticism web series, posted a mashup video of right-wing shock jock Steven Crowder hurling a number of homophobic and bigoted insults at him. The moments were taken from Crowder’s YouTube show “Louder with Crowder” which has frequently broader criticized Maza’s work at Vox.
On Tuesday, YouTube said that Crowder’s work did not violate its terms of service and that his account could remain on the platform.
“Our teams spent the last few days conducting an in-depth review of the videos flagged to us, and while we found language that was clearly hurtful, the videos as posted don’t violate our policies,” YouTube said in a tweeted statement.
“As an open platform, it’s crucial for us to allow everyone-from creators to journalists to late-night TV hosts to express their opinions w/in the scope of our policies. Opinions can be deeply offensive, but if they don’t violate our policies, they’ll remain on our site.”