- Vox Host Carlos Maza wrote a thread claiming that conservative commentator Steven Crowder constantly bullies him with comments about his race and sexuality on YouTube.
- After Maza called out YouTube for not enforcing its harassment policies, the platform said it was investigating.
- However, Crowder claims he is not bullying Maza and says this is an attack on conservative voices.
Maza’s Twitter Thread Against YouTube
A Vox writer has accused YouTube of not enforcing its harassment policy after claiming that conservative commentator Steven Crowder has been bullying him on the platform for years.
On Thursday, Vox writer and host of Strikethrough Carlos Maza, wrote a lengthy Twitter thread that included a montage of Crowder making remarks about his race and sexuality.
In the video montage, Crowder calls Maza the “gay Latino from Vox,” a “lispy sprite,” and an “angry little queer.”
Maza says that all of these attacks lead to him getting attacked online and said that on one occasion, he was doxxed because of it.
He goes on to say that he is not mad at Crowder, but is frustrated with YouTube for not doing anything to remove this content. He claims to have flagged it multiple times, but says nothing has ever come of it.
Which is all to say: I work my fucking ass off to create smart, thorough, engaging content for @YouTube, a company that claims to give a shit about LGBT creators. And its miserable to have that same company helping facilitate a truly mind melting amount of direct harassment.— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) May 31, 2019
He says that his goal is not to silence conservatives, but to get YouTube to stop empowering bullies. He also tells people that if they wanted to flag Crowder’s videos, they could, but he expects nothing would happen.
Maza also claimed that Crowder wears and sells a shirt that says “socialism is for fags.”
Towards the end of his thread, he said he anticipated receiving even more flack from Crowder’s fans for posting the thread.
If Crowder loses his channel, I’m going to get hit with another avalanche of abuse and will likely get doxxed again.— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) May 31, 2019
That’s what’s so fucked up about these platforms: they create wildly powerful monsters and then ask the targets of abuse to draw further attention to themselves.
The thread got a lot of attention online and YouTube ended up responding, saying that would look into the matter.
Thanks so much for outlining all of this–we’re looking into it further. Sending you a DM now.— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) May 31, 2019
Several reports later indicated that YouTube was investigating Crowder’s channel.
Crowder responded on Friday, in a video titled “VOX is Trying to Ban This Channel…”
“This is corporate censorship. And this is yet another giant company trying to lean on this channel, your channel, and the content that you have created,” he said in the opening of the 10-minute video. “This is a war, and I want everyone to understand, that we will fight until the absolute bitter end, both legally and publically.”
Crowder addressed the allegations Maza made against him, including the doxing. He claimed he has never encouraged this behavior.
“I have always condemned and continue to condemn, to discourage any and all forms of doxing and target harassment,” he said.
He then claimed that he did not see his statements to be bullying and did not think they would upset Maza. He says he believed he was using proper terminology.
“Okay, so have I ever called you the gay Latino host at Vox? Yes, of course, but it’s friendly ribbing,” Crowder said. “I genuinely wouldn’t consider you being that upset about it considering your handle is @gaywonk. Did I ever offhandedly use the term lispy queer? I really don’t remember it but it sounds like me. Why? Because you speak with a lisp and refer to yourself as a queer. That along with the LGBTQ moniker has made me believe that queer is one of the more suitable terms, if not I don’t understand the rule book, please correct me.”
“If using your words taken directly from the acronym you regularly tout is now hate speech, no one can understand the rules,” he later added.
Crowder also clarified that the shirt Maza referenced was actually a “socialism is for figs” shirt, and then continued to claim he was being attacked by corporate media.
NBC has invested heavily in Vox, so he claimed that he was experiencing a “David VS Goliath” situation. He claims his lawyer has contacted Youtube but does not know what will happen next.
“I really don’t know what’s going to happen,” Crowder said. “I’m hoping that Vox doesn’t succeed. I’m hoping that this channel doesn’t get banned. I don’t think we will. Most importantly, I’m really hoping that Vox isn’t communicating back and forth with Vox/NBC to soft banister tactics like restricting more of our videos.”
The Public Takes Sides
Since all of this has unfolded, people have come out in support for both Maza and Crowder.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shared one of Maza’s tweets and said YouTube was profiting from social erosion.
A Media Matters editor said that it would be one thing to criticize Maza, but said what Crowder was doing crossed a line.
As for people supporting Crowder, a Daily Wire reporter said that Maza was “trying to get a conservative media publisher banned from YouTube for exercising their freedom of speech.”
Tim Pool, a YouTuber and journalist, brought up an old tweet of Maza’s, and claimed that Maza advocated for physical assault. The tweet he referenced involved Maza responding to an article about people dumping milkshakes on far-right leaders.
Pool also referenced quotes Maza gave to The Verge, where he continued to attack YouTube’s policy.
Right now, it looks like YouTube has not taken any action against Crowder’s channel. On Sunday, Maza tweeted he has received no response.
It has been three full days without a response from @TeamYouTube.— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) June 3, 2019
In the meantime, Crowder and his allies have uploaded multiple videos targeting me for additional harassment.
Nothing will happen to him.
Because @YouTube doesn’t give a fuck about queer creators.
Twitch Sues Two Users for Creating Hate Raid Bots That Targeted Black and LGBTQ+ Streamers
Twitch said the two users were so relentless in their racist, sexist, and anti-LGBTQ+ hate raids that they forced some creators to stop streaming.
Twitch Sues Two Users
Twitch has filed a lawsuit against two of its users for allegedly creating hate raid bots that targeted Black and LGBTQ+ streamers with racist, sexist, and anti-LGBTQ+ content.
The users named in the lawsuit, filed late Thursday, are CruzzControl and CreatineOverdose. While their legal names are currently unknown, Twitch said it traced one to the Netherlands and the other to Austria. It added that it will amend the suit to include their real names once it learns them.
Twitch said both users began using bots to flood streamers’ chats with hate-filled messages in August. Despite multiple suspensions and bans, Twitch said the two continually created new accounts to continue their hate raid crusades.
According to the lawsuit, CruzzControl operated nearly 3,000 bots that were used to spam the discriminatory and harassing content. Meanwhile, CreatineOverdose used “their bot software to demonstrate how it could be used to spam Twitch channels with racial slurs, graphic descriptions of violence against minorities, and claims that the hate raiders are the KKK.”
Twitch didn’t just stop at accusations of hateful actions and rule-breaking. It even claimed the two users were so forceful in their efforts to attack creators that they pressured some to stop streaming altogether, “eliminating an important source of revenue for them.”
Twitch Users Demand Change
Twitch creators have long complained about hate raids, but a number of small creators began organizing a cohesive movement in early August following what appeared to be a growing number of hate raids.
Many demanded that Twitch address the situation by holding round tables with affected creators and enabling different features that would give them the ability to shut down incoming raids. Critics also called on the platform to provide detailed information about how it plans to protect creators moving forward. While Twitch did promise to implement fixes, a large portion of users weren’t satisfied with its messaging.
The bulk of users’ efforts culminated on Sep. 1 when various creators participated in #ADayOffTwitch, a one-day walkout designed to reduce traffic on the platform.
Despite Twitch’s lawsuit, a number of users have still said they won’t be completely satisfied with the platform’s actions until more is accomplished. For now, their primary goal is to have Twitch directly outline what steps it’s taking to prevent hate raids.
In its lawsuit, Twitch does make a cursory mention of several changes it said it’s introduced recently, including “implementing stricter identity controls with accounts, machine learning algorithms to detect bot accounts that are used to engage in harmful chat, and augmenting the banned word list.”
“Twitch mobilized its communications staff to address the community harm flowing from the hate raids and assured its community that it was taking proactive measures to stop them,” it added. “Twitch also worked with impacted streamers to educate them on moderation toolkits for their chats and solicited and responded to streamers’ and users’ comments and concerns.”
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (BuzzFeed News) (Kotaku)
Streamers Protest Racist and Homophobic Hate Raids With #ADayOffTwitch
The creators participating in the walkout want Twitch to implement policies that actively combat hate-raiding.
Numerous Twitch streamers went dark on the platform Wednesday as part of a movement called #ADayOffTwitch, which participants have described as a way to stand “in solidarity with marginalized creators under attack by botting & hate-raids.”
The protest was organized last month after a smaller creator by the name of RekItRaven, who is Black and uses they/them pronouns, had their streams flooded with racist messages twice.
“This channel now belongs to the KKK,” dozens of users commented during the streams.
For RekItRaven, those messages also came at a particularly disparaging time, as they had just finished talking about how several traumatic experiences had shaped their life.
Following the stream, RekItRaven began using #TwitchDoBetter, saying, “I love Twitch. I love the community that I built there… BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN I HAVE TO ACCEPT BEING TREATED LIKE SHIT ON THE PLATFORM.”
Soon, RekItRaven’s concerns gained traction, prompting a number of other smaller creators to step forward with their experiences about being on the receiving end of hate-raids. Eventually, that morphed into Tuesday’s #ADayOffTwitch protest, which has been spearheaded by RekItRaven and two other small creators known as ShineyPen and Lucia Everblack.
The protesters are demanding that Twitch make several concessions moving forward. Those demands include the platform:
- Holding round-tables with affected creators to assist with the creation of tools that combat abuse on the platform.
- Enabling creators to select the account age for prospective chatters.
- Allowing creators the ability to deny incoming raids.
- Removing the ability to attach more than three Twitch accounts to one email address since hate-raiders can currently use a single email to register unlimited accounts.
- Providing transparency into the actions being taken to protect creators, including giving a timeframe for that implementation.
For its part, Twitch has already promised to implement fixes, saying on Aug. 20, “Hate spam attacks are the result of highly motivated bad actors, and do not have a simple fix.”
“We’ve been building channel-level ban evasion detection and account improvements to combat this malicious behavior for months,” it added. “However, as we work on solutions, bad actors work in parallel to find ways around them—which is why we can’t always share details.”
However, for now, creators must still deal with potentially being hate-raided while streaming, which is why their anger toward Twitch has persisted.
Do Small Creators Have a Big Enough Voice?
The protest led by mostly smaller creators is also almost entirely composed of them. Because of this, the vacuum of silence from large creators, who hold a disproportionate amount of influence on the platform, has also led to frustration.
Many have pointed out that large creators will publicly show their support for minority causes during events such as Black History Month and Pride Month, but smaller users said they feel abandoned when those same creators don’t also actively participate in causes that directly combat minority hate.
“Nobody gives a fuck if you take the day off. Nobody knows who you are That’s the truth,” streamer Asmongold, who has 2.4 million followers on Twitch, on a stream last month. “If people got together and they said, we’re all going to collectively do it, I would do it in a heartbeat. Right, I would do it. I’ve got no problem because I do believe in power in numbers, I absolutely do, which is why I don’t believe in this. Like, you can’t get a bunch of 20 Andy’s together and think that you’re going to do anything. Nobody gives a fuck.”
That said, some influential streamers have added their voices to #ADayOff Twitch. For example, both Rhymestyle and Meg Turney participated in Tuesday’s protest; however, both creators have hundreds of thousands of more followers outside of Twitch rather than on it.
A number of smaller creators have also argued that it’s not feasible for them to take a day off even though they want to support the cause. For example, taking a day off could jeopardize them keeping their affiliate or partner status, which could, in turn, jeopardize their channels.
Meanwhile, others have argued that outcomes such as those are exactly what hate-raiders want to achieve, so logging off Twitch for a day could be playing into their hands.
Others still said they wanted to participate but are contractually obligated to stream every day either because of sponsorships or other deals.
CallMeCarson Announces Return to Streaming Following Grooming Allegations
In his return announcement, the YouTuber promised to donate 100% of his proceeds to charity in hopes that he can “turn a negative situation with a lot of eyes on it into something positive.”
Popular “Minecraft” YouTuber and streamer Carson King, known online as CallMeCarson, announced Wednesday that he will return to streaming following accusations he faced earlier this year of grooming and sexting underage fans.
In a video titled “Moving Forward,” King said he would begin streaming on Twitch again on Sept. 1 as part of what he is calling a “Year of Charity.” For the next 12 months, King plans to donate 100% of his proceeds to different charities, selecting a new one each month.
“Before you start looking at this as an excuse to sweep things under the rug, that’s not what this is,” he explained in his video. “I’m doing this to turn a negative situation with a lot of eyes on it into something positive that can help a lot of people.”
King did not address the details of the allegations that have been levied against him. Instead, he said he wanted to focus on what he can do in the future.
“I’ve learned a lot this past year,” King said. “I’m not seeking forgiveness nor am I looking to make excuses.”
Grooming Allegations Made Against CallMeCarson
In January, members of his YouTube group The Lunch Club told “DramaAlert” that in March of 2020, King had admitted to grooming underage fans. They claimed to not know many details but stated that his confession ultimately led to the group disbanding. One former member, known as “Slimecicle,” even said he reported Carson to authorities.
The victims themselves ended up coming forward online. One, who identified herself as Sam, said Carson sent her sexually suggestive messages in 2019 when he was 19 and she was 17. She also posted Discord messages the two exchanged where King said he could not “control” himself and asked when she turned 18.
Another girl, who went by CopiiCatt, said King sent her nude photos when she was 17 and he was 20.
Following this, King took a hiatus online, and now, his return has been met with mixed reactions.
His “Moving Forward” video has been viewed over 1.2 million times, receiving 252,000 likes and just 14,000 dislikes.
On Twitter, however, more people expressed frustration with his return and were upset by the swell of support for King despite the accusations against him.