YouTube just unveiled new guidelines that aim to build on the company’s hate speech policy announced in June. The problem, however, is that the language in the policy is so vague that it’s raised concerns among conservative commentators that they are being unfairly targeted.
According to a report by Fox News, the new guidelines prohibit “demeaning language that goes too far” — specifically, content that “maliciously insults someone based on protected attributes such as their race, gender expression, or sexual orientation.”
The policy is reportedly in reaction to a months-long controversy surrounding comedian Steven Crowder and his comments about Vox writer Carlos Maza’s sexuality.
YouTube previously demonetized Crowder’s videos – claiming that he “harmed the broader community” at YouTube – but acknowledged they didn’t violate the company’s standards at the time.
Conservative host Ben Shapiro claimed YouTube’s vague policy would continue to harm public trust in the company.
“When YouTube says that they want to ‘want to reduce the spread of content that comes right up to the line,’ they haven’t defined the line So now they’ve written themselves a blank check to ban whatever content they like, calling it ‘questionable,’” he said.
“They’ve now created a set of constantly moving goalposts, and assured us that we ought to trust them. But it’s lack of trust in their judgment and understanding that has already created their public perception problems. These new guidelines will exacerbate that problem.”
#WalkAway campaign founder and frequent Chicks on the Right guest Brandon Straka also spoke out against the policy.
“Though targeted harassment and bullying is something all people should be able to agree has no place in the arena of public discourse, sadly this ideal is rarely upheld when conservative opinions are being targeted by leftist bullying and harassment,” he told Fox News.
He also said that YouTube was shifting power away from creators on the platform. “YouTube’s policies remove the power from the creator to control their own discussions and engagement, and allow YouTube the freedom to discriminate and the power to control our political and cultural narratives online.”
The Chicks on the Right offer commentary on the new policy from YouTube in the clip below.