YouTube drafting creator-on-creator harassment rules after Steven Crowder incident
YouTube is working on new policies to prevent “creator-on-creator harassment” that it will announce later this year, the company said today. The statement was made by Youtubes chief product officer, Neal Mohan, who briefly spoke about the issue at YouTubes VidCon keynote this evening, where both creators and industry insiders were gathered in Anaheim, California.
The news didnt come with any concrete details about what those policies will actually look like, but YouTube said it considers them to be “just as important to the YouTube community as any product launch.”
“Creator-on-creator harassment” doesnt have a clear definition, but Mohans announcement comes after a series of incidents that fall under the description. In June, conservative pundit Steven Crowders use of homophobic language to attack Vox host Carlos Maza spawned a heated controversy about how YouTube should moderate speech on its platform and the extent to which it punishes popular creators. “The move wasnt spurred by the incident between Crowder and Maza,” Mohan told CNET, but its a safe assumption that incidents like it would fall under the new policies, as well as more internal community drama that leads to hurtful videos and amasses worldwide attention.
(Disclosure: Vox is a publication of Vox Media, which also owns The Verge.)
A YouTube spokesperson said that Mohan was referring to an announcement the company made in April. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote at the time that she takes it “very seriously when creators share stories of experiencing harassment on the platform” and that YouTube would “do more to discourage this from happening.” Wojcicki mentioned similar plans again last month at the Code Conference, saying it was “next on our list.”
After Maza tweeted about Crowders behavior in early June, YouTube briefly removed Crowders ability to earn ad revenue. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki later apologized to the LGBTQ community after many creators called the company out over its relative lack of action and poor messaging around the situation. Still, Wojcicki stood by the companys decision not to remove Crowders videos or ban him entirely, stating that although YouTube did not agree with his actions and words, his videos didnt constitute cyberbullying or harassment. The homophobic language, because it was apparently used in jest and as only fractions of longer videos attempting to rebut Mazas Strikethrough series, didnt violate YouTubes policies as far as the company was concerned.
Yet YouTubes current harassment and cyberbullying polic