Conservative comedian Steven Crowder is suing YouTube over its content moderation practices and policies, which Crowder says are misapplied to silence conservatives.
Crowder announced the lawsuit on his show, “Louder With Crowder,” on Monday. Crowder and his attorney, Bill Richmond, said that since the start of the year, YouTube has again demonetized “Lowder With Crowder” videos and issued two hard strikes against the account, both of which resulted in temporary suspensions.
“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.
The second hard strike came over Crowder’s commentary on a police shooting in Columbus, Ohio, in April. An officer shot and killed black teen Ma’Khia Bryant to stop her from stabbing another girl. YouTube accused Crowder of “reveling in or mocking” Bryant’s death. Crowder denied mocking Bryant Monday. Richmond noted that even had Crowder violated the policy, “Louder With Crowder” is a comedy show and, as such, is exempted under YouTube’s policy.
“This really isn’t just about us. We can find ways that we can broadcast to you,” Crowder said about his lawsuit. “But this is the world’s most powerful company – arguably, when you look at YouTube, Google, Alphabet – and they make sure that they ghost you where people cannot find, not us, but the point of view.”
“In other words, in that same point in time when we’re talking specifically about the Columbus issue, you can go to Stephen Colbert, you can go to CNN, they’re all uploading at that same time with information that we know to be incorrect,” Crowder continued. “To not allow half the country, half the world ever to correct those mistruths under some misguided and, frankly, not outlined policy … the last thing I want to be doing is doing a lawsuit with Google and YouTube for crying out loud. They could squash my nuts into oblivion.”
Richmond added: “What [YouTube is] saying is these ideas are so dangerous that we can’t address them or rebut them, we can’t criticize them, we just have to extinguish the opinions entirely. We have to eradicate these opinions from the planet because we can’t deal with them.”
“But the reality,” Richmond continued, “this is a comedy show that takes on important issues. Commentary, politics, issues that are facing everyone in every part of the nation and the world, and we have to be able to talk about them.”
YouTube did not immediately respond to The Daily Wire’s request for comment.
Crowder’s lawsuit against YouTube is the second Big Tech company he has launched a legal battle with this year. In February, the conservative comedian announced that he was suing Facebook for censoring his content without justification, among other issues. As The Daily Wire reported:
“We’re going after Facebook based on its own words and its own promises,” Richmond explained. Facebook, he said, claimed they were no longer suppressing certain speech, however, continued to do so.
As an example of what he said was speech suppression, Crowder pointed to his election livestream that was apparently cut off. The stream, as noted by The Daily Wire, amassed a stunning 8.1 million views. The host said he was never given a reason as to why the coverage was curtailed.
“They removed the biggest stream that has ever existed, from the biggest platform that’s ever existed, with no reason,” he said.