The most viewed conservative commentator on YouTube is Steven Crowder with his channel, Louder with Crowder.
His fans love his politically incorrect jokes.
He also sets up a table at college campuses, invites people to debate, and airs the debate unedited. One such video, titled, “There Are Two Genders: Change My Mind,” has been viewed 40 million times. Students don’t change Crowder’s mind, but he has a fair conversation.
Crowder won’t change my mind, either — (I believe gender can be on a spectrum) but in my new video, Crowder says he was influenced by me.
Louder With Crowder, he says, is “a cross between early David Letterman, maybe Howard Stern TV and John Stossel.”
I interviewed Crowder last week because YouTube abruptly deleted some of his videos, blocked him from uploading new videos for a week and permanently demonetized his channel. “It means I can make $0 on YouTube,” he explains.
YouTube even deleted his good reporting that showed Nevada election rolls include people with fake addresses. Why? YouTube says its “presidential election integrity policy” bans “false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches changed the outcome of any past U.S. presidential election.”
But Crowder made no such claims, and what he said was true!
YouTube could have checked. Crowder lists his sources on his website. Good for him.
I’m also glad that he defends freedom. “Individuals, if given the freedom and opportunity to do so… do things relatively well,” he says.
But Crowder does some things that make me cringe.
In one video, he dresses as a stereotypical Chinese man and dunks a baby doll into a glass of water while an announcer says it’s “cultural appropriation month.”
I tell him: “Depending which things of yours I watch, I’m either honored or horrified that I influenced you. You’re drowning a blonde doll in a glass of water? I don’t even understand the joke.”
Crowder pushes back, explaining that the episode is about China’s one-child policy, which “resulted in countless girls being drowned in a bathtub. … I don’t think the joke is more offensive than the policy.”
Another “joke” that I didn’t get: Crowder mocks the part of the COVID-19 stimulus bill that gives $5 billion to farmers of color. He imitated a Black man, saying, “I’mma buy a plow, man…!”
Other media jumped on him for that. “Incredibly racist,” said Francesca Fiorentini of The Young Turks.
“That was a joke,” Crowder responds. “We go into an impression of hipsters in Detroit and African Americans living out on farms. It’s a fish out of water tale. It’s funny… I shouldn’t have to justify every joke that I make.”
I push back. “But the way you did it was mean, nasty. I don’t blame YouTube for saying, ‘I don’t want this on our channel.'”
This upset Crowder. “I thought you had a better sense of humor than that,” he replies.
Crowder points out that YouTube is not consistent about what it limits. Conservatives like him, he complains, are more likely to be censored.
He referred me to a YouTube video, viewed more than 100 million times, that portrays rapper Lil Nas X “being sodomized by Satan, and not only is that monetized, but it’s deemed child-friendly!”
He’s right when he says YouTube is biased.
The company, owned by Google, restricted my video in which Black people express skepticism about “systemic ” American racism (YouTube labeled it “hateful… content likely to offend marginalized individuals”), one that criticized anti-school-choice politicians who send their kids to private school, one that says, “socialism leads to violence,” and others.
“There’s an ideological motivation beyond the profit motivation,” Crowder complains.
Now, he’s suing big tech companies, arguing that they break their terms of service by treating people like him differently.
“I am unapologetic,” Crowder concludes. “You don’t have to like what I say. But I think at the end of the day, you’ll be glad that there’s someone there doing it.”
I am glad.
YouTube should let people say what they want.
Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore
8 thoughts on “Crowder Calls Out Censorship”
I don’t disagree that Crowder has a right to speak his mind and make jokes of all kind, but YouTube is a private company and has to care about its bottom line first. If Crowders content hurts YouTubes bottom line they have a right to restrict his content, YouTube is no different than CNN or CBS in the regard that is has a right to pick its own content. The idea that its a totally open platform is ridiculous cause its not, it hasn’t been since google bought it. Are they biased towards the left, ofcourse. Should YouTube be stripped out of Google because it was a monopolistic purchase, absolutely.
This is so obvious. It should go without saying, but still, it is constantly overlooked, or misunderstood, or not comprehended. Thanks for saying it.
Yes, YouTube is private, but if they censor they should lose all the Section 230 privileges they exploit which were intended in order to ensure those platforms supported free speech and would not be held liable. If they are capable of being an editor then they should be treated like any, regular, news media. You argue that YouTube is no different than CNN or CBS, but you are wrong. CNN and CBS pick their content AND are held liable for that content.
I love Crowder’s politics, but he really isn’t funny, stick to change my mind and such is IMHO where he excels.
Regulation is not censorship.
All countries have some form of content regulation of their traditional media. Typically, these regulations have to do with truth, honesty and taste (which Steven Crowder frequently violates). Less typically but still fairly common are content regulation on the grounds of national security and racial and religious harmony. Even within the First Amendment there are written laws and unwritten social norms to keep the media in line with public opinion and taste.
Youtube should let people say what they want? Give me a break! That would result in the proliferation of even more lies and racist rhetoric than we have now.
Any time that speech is limited by *government* action (including regulations or even chilling of speech) it is censorship by definition. On the other hand, what a private business chooses to do or to not do, is not censorship, no matter how badly they piss us off.
What we’re seeing now is a mix of the two. The government is trying to censor without actually censoring, threatening businesses, deciding what rules they have to follow if they want to be allowed to stay in business. Unfortunately, some of those businesses have decided that jumping on the government bandwagon could actually secure their market position without requiring them to have to compete against any upstart newcomer by pricing them out of the market.
Those countries do not have the 1st Amendment.
I see people focused on freedom of speech issues vs. private company discretion. This isn’t why Crowder is suing. He is suing because YouTube limits his freedom of speech while others that YouTube is politically aligned with are allowed to use similar speech.
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