Tweaking its policies to keep up with current issues, Google-owned video platform YouTube announced on Wednesday that it would ban videos promoting or glorifying racism and discrimination as well as those denying well-documented violent events, like the Holocaust or the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting.
YouTube updated its policy towards "hateful content" and videos that "justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status." Additionally, the denial of "well-documented violent events," will not be allowed.
The videos that contain such gestures will be taken down although it could be left for research purposes later. YouTube added that "context matters," and exceptions could be made in case pending legislation is discussed in the video, or if the content analyzes or exposes hate.
The rules were formulated after rounds of consultations with "experts in subjects like violent extremism, supremacism, civil rights, and free speech."
Channels that repeatedly violate these policies will be suspended from the YouTube Partner program, which means they won’t be able to post ads on their channel, the company said.
The announcement stemmed from a controversy over videos from comedian Steven Crowder. A protest from the employees of Google forced the company to take action after the comedian made homophobic and racist jokes about a journalist. Initially, YouTube claimed that the behaviour had not violated its policies but backtracked its decision after the protests.
Responding to the updated policy, Crowder said, “The ability for one to make a living online, particularly on YouTube, is about to change drastically.” He also apologized to the "parties involved" via a video on Twitter. Launching a tirade against Vox and YouTube, he accused both the companies of launching a war on all independent creators adding that thousands of channels were under the threat of review after the policy update.