YouTube is allowing conservative pundit Steven Crowder to monetize his YouTube channel again, more than one year after Crowder was removed from the company’s Partner Program following complaints of homophobic and racist harassment from another creator.
“Creators who are suspended from [YouTube’s Partner Program] can reapply for access, and after careful consideration, we will be reinstating him into the program today,” a YouTube spokesperson told The Verge. “If there are further violations on this channel we will take appropriate action.”
Crowder lost his monetization privileges (which include the ability to run ads) after former Vox.com host and YouTube creator Carlos Maza tweeted a lengthy thread showing instances where Crowder used homophobic language. At first, YouTube decided that Crowder’s content did not violate the company’s harassment policies. As the company faced more pressure, YouTube’s team took action citing a “pattern of egregious actions has harmed the broader community and is against our YouTube Partner Program policies” at the time. Crowder was suspended from June 5th, 2019 until August 12th, 2020. Not all videos will automatically run ads, and videos must comply with YouTube’s advertising guidelines.
(Disclosure: Vox.com is a publication of Vox Media, which also owns The Verge.)
YouTube said it stood behind the initial suspension but was lifting the penalties because of Crowder’s improved behavior on the platform since the incident. “Over a year ago, Steven Crowder was suspended from the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) for harassing a fellow creator and harming the YouTube community,” the YouTube spokesperson said. “This incident exposed gaps in our Community Guidelines, so last December we updated our policies to better address patterns of harassing behavior and our work here is ongoing. Separately, Mr. Crowder has also taken steps to address the behavior that led to his suspension and has demonstrated a track record of policy-compliant behavior.”
In order for channels to be reinstated in the Partner Program, creators must remove content that triggered suspension, participate in trainings on the company’s policies, and establish a track record of good behavior. The videos that Maza brought up in his thread last year have all been allegedly removed, according to the company.
Since the incident with Crowder, YouTube has instituted a series of new policies, including one that targets creator-on-creator harassment.