YouTube suspended Steven Crowder’s channel for one week on Wednesday, claiming the conservative pundit and comedian violated the platform’s rules against hate speech.
YouTube’s counsel sent an email to Crowder’s attorney, William Richmond, informing him of the strike against Crowder’s account and explaining that a September 30 video uploaded to Crowder’s channel “targets the transgender community in an offensive manner,” according to a copy of the email. YouTube has blocked Crowder from posting videos to his main and auxiliary accounts for one week. The email said in part:
We write again on YouTube’s behalf regarding your client, Steven Crowder. YouTube has repeatedly instructed Mr. Crowder regarding its hate speech policy and warned him against continuing violations of that policy through content he uploaded to YouTube. YouTube specifically warned Mr. Crowder that videos he uploaded showed a pattern of recklessly targeting the LGBTQ+ community for abuse and insults. It warned that further uploading of content that targets, insults, and/or abuses the LGBTQ+ community would result in additional penalties.
On September 30, Mr. Crowder uploaded another video that YouTube has determined continues his prior conduct. The video entitled ““Special Guest ALEX JONES on ‘Great Reset’ & Joe Rogan TRIGGERS Leftists AGAIN!” contains a segment that targets the transgender community in an offensive manner, for example, by indicating that trans people pose a rape threat to women. Consistent with the recklessness provisions of its hate speech policy, YouTube has removed this video from the service and assessed a strike against the Steven Crowder channel. Per YouTube’s strikes policy, this results in a one-week upload freeze for the channel. Further violation of YouTube’s hate speech policy will result in additional penalties.
Crowder’s team is unsure of the exact reason for the strike and has requested time stamps from YouTube on the September 30 video earning the channel another strike. According to Crowder’s website: “During the September 30 show, we discussed a news article entitled ‘Female inmate now pregnant after California pro-trans policy forces women’s prisons to house biological men despite prisoners’ pleas, warnings: report,’ and there was a short comedy sketch after that. The news article was a report on female prisoners becoming impregnated when they were forced to share cells with biological men.”
YouTube told The Daily Wire in a statement: “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. Hate speech is not allowed on YouTube, 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.”
Crowder responded on Twitter Wednesday: “A hard strike from YouTube and Wow… this is terrifying. We covered SPECIFIC, documented instances of rape. @YouTube says not allowed. All parents should take note. If you believe in the insane notion of biological sex, you will be silenced.”
YouTube’s latest strike against Crowder is at least the third of this year. In response to YouTube cracking down on his content, Crowder sued the platform in May. As The Daily Wire reported:
“As of last Thursday, May 14, my lawyer Bill Richmond and I have filed a notice of a lawsuit against YouTube and are seeking an injunction to prevent them, to stop them from currently deplatforming us,” Crowder said. “We’ve officially sent a notice of a lawsuit. Very different level – this is the big one, boys and girls.”
Crowder’s account was locked, demonetized, and given a strike warning in March for allegedly spreading misinformation about the 2020 election. Crowder denied ever making any false claims on Monday’s show and noted that YouTube’s justification lacked a specific charge against Crowder.
Crowder said the first and second hard strikes against his channel were similarly vague, leaving the host and his attorney guessing at what could have triggered YouTube’s actions. The first strike came over an anniversary video of “15 days to slow the spread.” YouTube claimed that Crowder violated its policy against spreading COVID misinformation.
This article has been updated with comments from a YouTube spokesperson.