More than 5 million users follow Steven Crowder’s popular late-night comedy show on YouTube, but the video platform has frozen his channel for a week over an episode spotlighting California’s decision to house biological males in women’s prisons.
“We removed content from and issued a strike to the StevenCrowder channel for violating our hate speech policy, through repeated targeting of the LGBTQ+ community,” a YouTube spokesperson told The Daily Signal on Thursday afternoon.
The Crowder show in question is a Sept. 30 episode titled “Special Guest ALEX JONES on ‘Great Reset’ & Joe Rogan TRIGGERS Leftists AGAIN!” (Jones is a prominent far-right radio host and Rogan is a popular podcaster.)
“Hate speech is not allowed on YouTube,” the YouTube spokesperson told The Daily Signal, “and in some cases, we remove content or issue other penalties—such as a strike—when a creator repeatedly targets, insults, and abuses a protected group based on attributes such as sexual orientation or gender identity and expression across multiple uploads.”
In a letter to Crowder’s lawyer, William Richmond, YouTube said the Sept. 30 episode contained “a segment that targets the transgender community in an offensive manner, for example, by indicating that trans people pose a rape threat to women.”
If any YouTube channel receives three “strikes” in the same 90-day period, it will be removed permanently from YouTube, the spokesperson told The Daily Signal.
This is not the first time that YouTube has censored Crowder’s channel. The platform said it also gave the StevenCrowder channel a strike in March for violating the platform’s policy on presidential election integrity and a second strike in May for violating its harassment policy.
YouTube also indefinitely suspended Crowder from its Partner Program for violating program policies, making the Crowder channel ineligible for monetization.
In May, Crowder filed a lawsuit against YouTube in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
“We have filed a legal notice of a lawsuit and an immediate injunction against YouTube,” the comedian said at the time. “This is the big one. This is the big one with the Roman Empire at this point. As a matter of fact, the Roman Empire couldn’t fathom the power of Alphabet, who owns YouTube and Google.”
It’s tantamount to saying, ‘No conservatives are welcome.’ I do not say this to boast. You know I never talk about the numbers on my show because I want the content to speak for itself, but this is far and away the No. 1 show on new media. Period. We beat [Jimmy] Kimmel. We beat Trevor Noah. We beat these guys every single day. Every single day.
But it’s not because of us—it’s conservative views. These views are not welcome. And the reason we’ve filed an injunction for immediate relief is to make sure our channel is still up, that we know what steps to take next.
The Sept. 30 show discussed reports from the Women’s Liberation Front, a feminist organization, that a female inmate in a California women’s prison became pregnant after biological males who said they identified as females were housed in the prison.
A year ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, signed into law a bill requiring the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to ask inmates entering its custody to specify their preferred personal pronouns and gender identity, and state whether they identify as transgender, nonbinary, or intersex. The law took effect in January.
The new California law also requires that the corrections department house an inmate in a facility “based on the individual’s preference,” prevents the department from disciplining those who refuse to provide gender information, allows for that information to be updated later, and requires staff to use inmates’ requested gender pronouns.
Crowder’s Sept. 30 show featured a discussion of this topic, followed by a short comedy sketch.
“What’s terrifying is that there IS a story about a trans—err, bisexual boy wearing a skirt who allegedly raped a girl in a high school bathroom,” a Thursday post on Crowder’s website said, referring to a Daily Wire report on the father of a ninth grade girl who said she was raped in a girls restroom in a Loudoun County high school by a boy who reportedly is “gender-fluid.”
“That father was arrested at the [Loudoun County] school board meeting and became a poster child of why school boards ‘need’ Joe Biden’s Department of Justice to treat concerned parents as domestic terrorists,” the post on Crowder’s website said. “We discussed THAT horrifying story today. And TODAY is when we find out we’re suspended for a story from two weeks ago?”
Lora Ries, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Technology Policy, told The Daily Signal in a Thursday email that YouTube and other Big Tech platforms need to “get out of the business of trying to identify and censor ‘hate speech,’ ‘misinformation,’ ‘offensive’ material, and other content that they suddenly find ‘otherwise objectionable’ on an ever-changing basis.” (The Daily Signal is the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation.)
“The companies are not good at it, it censors free speech, and has become a means to shut down content and/or users the company is biased against,” Ries said, adding:
As a reminder, Congress’ original intent for giving internet service providers Section 230 liability protection was to restrict access to or availability of pornographic, excessively violent, and harassing content. These platforms have moved far afield from this original intent and should not have liability protection for their censorious behavior.
Crowder did not respond immediately to a request for comment from The Daily Signal.
The show censored by YouTube may be viewed on Amazon.
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