It's hard to say where YouTuber Steven Crowder is on the sexual-orientation, speech spectrum: conservative, right-wing, or homophobic?
To video host Carlos Maza, who is gay, Crowder is a harasser. The two have been feuding online for a while, and YouTube was caught in the middle.
Now the video platform has taken sides. YouTube says Crowder's conservative commentary doesn't violate its policies.
Maza, who writes the Vox series "Strikethrough," says he has a "pretty thick skin" when it comes to online harassment. But Crowder was really bothering him with his video commentary.
"Every single video has included repeated, overt attacks on my sexual orientation and ethnicity," he said. The derogatory statements include: "lispy sprite," "little queer," "Mr. Gay Vox," and "gay Mexican."
Crowder calls his comments about Maza "harmless ribbing." He has nearly four million subscribers for his "conservative late night comedy show." Maza said he is not mad so much at Crowder, as he is "f***ing pissed" at YouTube. YouTube responded that Crowder has not violated its policies, and that his channel will stay up.
"Our teams spent the last few days conducting an in-depth review of the videos flagged to us, and while we found language that was clearly hurtful, the videos as posted don't violate our policies," Team YouTube posted. The company said it's important that people express their opinions within the scope of its policies. "Opinions can be deeply offensive, but if they don't violate our policies, they'll remain on our site," it said.
The Verge noted that the company did not mention the phrase "hate speech." That means YouTube did not classify Crowder's commentary as "homophobic mockery," the ezine said.