Vox Host Slams YouTube for Allowing Harassment From Steven Crowder
- 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.
See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Huff Post) (Newsweek)
Schools Across the U.S. Cancel Classes Friday Over Unverified TikTok Threat
Officials in multiple states said they haven’t found any credible threats but are taking additional precautions out of an abundance of safety.
Schools in no fewer than 10 states either canceled classes or increased their police presence on Friday after a series of TikToks warned of imminent shooting and bombs threats.
Despite that, officials said they found little evidence to suggest the threats are credible. It’s possible no real threat was actually ever made as it’s unclear if the supposed threats originated on TikTok, another social media platform, or elsewhere.
“We handle even rumored threats with utmost seriousness, which is why we’re working with law enforcement to look into warnings about potential violence at schools even though we have not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok,” TikTok’s Communications team tweeted Thursday afternoon.
Still, given the uptick of school shootings in the U.S. in recent years, many school districts across the country decided to respond to the rumors. According to The Verge, some districts in California, Minnesota, Missouri, and Texas shut down Friday.
“Based on law enforcement interviews, Little Falls Community Schools was specifically identified in a TikTok post related to this threat,” one school district in Minnesota said in a letter Thursday. “In conversations with local law enforcement, the origins of this threat remain unknown. Therefore, school throughout the district is canceled tomorrow, Friday, December 17.”
In Gilroy, California, one high school that closed its doors Friday said it would reschedule final exams that were expected to take place the same day to January.
According to the Associated Press, several other districts in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania stationed more police officers at their schools Friday.
Viral Misinformation or Legitimate Warnings?
As The Verge notes, “The reports of threats on TikTok may be self-perpetuating.”
For example, many of the videos online may have been created in response to initial warnings as more people hopped onto the trend. Amid school cancellations, videos have continued to sprout up — many awash with both rumors and factual information.
“I’m scared off my ass, what do I do???” one TikTok user said in a now-deleted video, according to People.
“The post is vague and not directed at a specific school, and is circulating around school districts across the country,” Chicago Public Schools said in a letter, though it did not identify any specific post. “Please do not re-share any suspicious or concerning posts on social media.”
According to Dr. Amy Klinger, the director of programs for the nonprofit Educator’s School Safety Network, “This is not 2021 phenomenon.”
Instead, she told The Today Show that her network has been tracking school shooting threats since 2013, and she noted that in recent years, they’ve become more prominent on social media.
“It’s not just somebody in a classroom of 15 people hearing someone make a threat,” she said. “It’s 15,000 people on social media, because it gets passed around and it becomes larger and larger and larger.”
See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Associated Press) (People)
Jake Paul Says He “Can’t Get Cancelled” as a Boxer
The controversial YouTuber opened up about what it has been like to go from online fame to professional boxing.
The New Yorker Profiles Jake Paul
YouTuber and boxer Jake Paul talked about his career switch, reputation, and cancel culture in a profile published Monday in The New Yorker.
While Paul rose to fame as the Internet’s troublemaker, he now spends most of his time in the ring. He told the outlet that one difference between YouTube and boxing is that his often controversial reputation lends better to his new career.
“One thing that is great about being a fighter is, like, you can’t get cancelled,” Paul said. The profile noted that the sport often rewards and even encourages some degree of bad behavior.
“I’m not a saint,” Paul later continued. “I’m also not a bad guy, but I can very easily play the role.”
Paul also said the other difference between his time online and his time in boxing is the level of work. While he says he trains hard, he confessed that there was something more challenging about making regular YouTube content.
“Being an influencer was almost harder than being a boxer,” he told The New Yorker. “You wake up in the morning and you’re, like, Damn, I have to create fifteen minutes of amazing content, and I have twelve hours of sunlight.”
Jake Paul Vs. Tommy Fury
The New Yorker profile came just after it was announced over the weekend Paul will be fighting boxer Tommy Fury in an 8-round cruiserweight fight on Showtime in December.
“It’s time to kiss ur last name and ur family’s boxing legacy goodbye,” Paul tweeted. “DEC 18th I’m changing this wankers name to Tommy Fumbles and celebrating with Tom Brady.”
Both Paul and Fury are undefeated, according to ESPN. Like Paul, Fury has found fame outside of the sport. He has become a reality TV star in the U.K. after appearing on the hit show “Love Island.”
See what others are saying: (The New Yorker) (Dexerto) (ESPN)
Hackers Hit Twitch Again, This Time Replacing Backgrounds With Image of Jeff Bezos
The hack appears to be a form of trolling, though it’s possible that the infiltrators were able to uncover a security flaw while reviewing Twitch’s newly-leaked source code.
Hackers targeted Twitch for a second time this week, but rather than leaking sensitive information, the infiltrators chose to deface the platform on Friday by swapping multiple background images with a photo of former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
According to those who saw the replaced images firsthand, the hack appears to have mostly — and possibly only — affected game directory headers. Though the incident appears to be nothing more than a surface-level prank, as Amazon owns Twitch, it could potentially signal greater security flaws.
For example, it’s possible the hackers could have used leaked internal security data from earlier this week to discover a network vulnerability and sneak into the platform.
The latest jab at the platforms came after Twitch assured its users it has seen “no indication” that their login credentials were stolen during the first hack. Still, concerns have remained regarding the potential for others to now spot cracks in Twitch’s security systems.
It’s also possible the Bezos hack resulted from what’s known as “cache poisoning,” which, in this case, would refer to a more limited form of hacking that allowed the infiltrators to manipulate similar images all at once. If true, the hackers likely would not have been able to access Twitch’s back end.
The photo changes only lasted several hours before being returned to their previous conditions.
First Twitch Hack
Despite suspicions and concerns, it’s unclear whether the Bezos hack is related to the major leak of Twitch’s internal data that was posted to 4chan on Wednesday.
That leak exposed Twitch’s full source code — including its security tools — as well as data on how much Twitch has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019.
It also revealed Amazon’s at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library, codenamed Vapor, which would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.
Even though Twitch has said its login credentials appear to be secure, it announced Thursday that it has reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Users are still being urged to change their passwords and update or implement two-factor authentication if they haven’t already.