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YouTube Restores Monetization on Steven Crowder’s Channel After Year-Long Harassment Suspension

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  • YouTube has reinstated monetization on conservative commentator Steven Crowder’s channel after banning him from running ads on his videos for 14 months.
  • Crowder’s channel was demonetized in June 2019 after he made homophobic and racist remarks against then-Vox writer Carlos Maza.
  • Thursday morning, Crowder cheered the decision in a video while also attacking those who had called for his channel to be outright banned, saying, “All of [your] victories are gone.”
  • Meanwhile, in a lengthy Twitter post, Maza blasted the decision, arguing against YouTube’s claim that Crowder is no longer posting content that violates the platform’s anti-hate policies. 
  • Currently, YouTube has monetized a controversial video on Crowder’s channel where he promotes a conspiracy theory that COVID-19 death numbers have been inflated.

YouTube Lifts Crowder Ad Ban

YouTube has lifted its ad ban on conservative commentator Steven Crowder channel after enforcing it for 14 months.

The platform removed monetization from his channel on June 5, 2019, several days after openly gay Vox writer Carlos Maza accused Crowder of making a number of homophobic and racist comments about him on Crowder’s show Louder with Crowder.

In a now-deleted montage posted to Twitter by Maza, Crowder can be seen calling Maza “our favorite lispy sprite from Vox,” “a gay Latino from vox,” and “a tranny.” At the time, Crowder’s channel also linked to a shop that sold shirts with the words: “Socialism is for fags.” 

When it banned Crowder, YouTube clarified that the ad ban was likely only temporary. In fact, the platform said it could remonetize his channel once he removed links to a store selling a shirt with a homophobic slur and addressed “all of the issues with his channel.”

On Wednesday, YouTube said that Crowder has complied with those requirements, noting that he took down his videos about Maza in December when a new harassment policy was launched. The platform also said he agreed to no longer link to his controversial shirt. 

In a statement to media outlets, a YouTube spokesperson said Crowder has “taken steps to address the behavior that led to his suspension and has demonstrated a track record of policy-compliant behavior.”

“Creators who are suspended from [YouTube Partner Program] can reapply for access, and after careful consideration, we will be reinstating him into the program today. If there are further violations on this channel we will take appropriate action.”

That spokesperson also reiterated that while the platform still believes he posts controversial content, none of that has been found to be policy non-compliant.

Crowder: “All of [your] victories are gone.”

Thursday morning, Crowder cheered the decision on Louder with Crowder while also biting back at his critics. 

“I know that the left was furious with the Vox adpocalypse, right?” he said. “You wanted us to be banned. That didn’t happen. You wanted to claim that we violated policies. That didn’t happen.

You wanted us to apologize, and that did happen for 26 minutes, I believe, if you watch that whole video. And then, your only win was, ‘At least we made sure that Louder with Crowder, that they will cease to make a living on YouTube.’”

“That was the one win on the scoreboard for you guys. It was, you were one and six. Now, you have to wipe off the one, and put your mouth on the table so all your friends just smack you for misbehaving. That’s about what you got. All of the victories are gone. I understand. I understand that we could be demonetized tomorrow, but we don’t care. Our conversation with YouTube has always been, we just want to have a fair shake on the platform.” 

At the time ads were banned from his channel, Crowder had about 3.8 million subscribers. As of August 2019, he has 4.63 million subscribers.

Maza: “YouTube’s policies were never actually meant to be enforced.”

In a lengthy Twitter post, Maza blasted YouTube’s decision to remonetize Crowder’s channel. In fact, even when Maza first accused Crowder of harassment in 2019, he said that his anger was more directed at YouTube’s enforcement of its own policies rather than Crowder himself.

“Demonetizing was already insufficient, but this decision proves that YouTube has no real interest in enforcing its anti-hate policies,” Maza said Wednesday.

Particularly, Maza argued against the idea that Crowder’s videos have been policy compliant recently. To that point, he cited several examples, including a video where Crowder pushes a COVID-19 conspiracy theory of an inflated death count, another where he calls the Black Lives Matter movement a domestic terrorist organization, as well as others he titled “why” and “when transgenders attack.” 

“These are all in violation of YouTube’s policies,” Maza said. Not a single one has been removed.”

“YouTube’s anti-hate speech policies clearly and plainly prohibit all of this stuff,” he added. “The fact that Crowder is being re-monetized, despite repeated rule-breaking, shows how YouTube’s policies were never actually meant to be enforced.”

In a statement to Business Insider, a YouTube spokesperson refused to comment on those examples directly; instead, she clarified that not all of Crowder’s videos might qualify to be monetized and that some may remain demonetized if they don’t meet YouTube’s ad policies.

As of Thursday morning, at least one of those videos — the one pushing the idea of inflated COVID-19 death counts — is running ads. 

Since May 2019, Maza has openly accused YouTube of making glaring exceptions to policies for its largest creators. The reason? According to Maza, it’s all driven by money. 

“I said it last June, and I’ll say it again,” Maza said Wednesday. “YouTube has a tremendous profit incentive to keep hate speech on the platform. Hate performs well and drives up the company’s numbers.” 

Still, YouTube has demonetized much bigger creators than Crowder, whether temporarily or indefinitely. For example, Logan Paul was demonetized for two weeks following his suicide forest scandal. Currently, Shane Dawson has been indefinitely demonetized following a series of massive scandals that have rocked the beauty community. In both cases, as well as Crowder’s, demonetization only occurred after heavy public outcry.

In his Twitter thread, Maza went on to say that YouTube won’t change its policies as long as it continues to “lure advertisers with high engagement numbers.”

He then encouraged creators to “refuse to participate in company promo material, speak publicly against the platform at every opportunity, and support a creators’ union,” even saying “Large creators need to unionize and threaten the company’s bottom line.”

See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Business Insider) (Mashable)

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Jake Paul Launches Anti-Bullying Charity

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The charity, called Boxing Bullies, aims to use the sport to give kids confidence and courage.


Jake Paul Launches Boxing Bullies Foundation

YouTuber Jake Paul — best known as the platform’s boxer, wreckless partier, and general troublemaker — has seemingly launched a non-profit to combat bullying.  

The charity is called Boxing Bullies. According to a mission statement posted on Instagram, it aims to “instill self confidence, leadership, and courage within the youth through the sport of boxing while using our platform, voice, and social media to fight back against bullying.”

If the notion of a Paul-founded anti-bullying charity called “Boxing Bullies” was not already begging to be compared to former First Lady Melania Trump’s “Best Best” initiative, maybe the group’s “Boxing Bullies Commandments” will help connect the dots. Those commandments use an acronym for the word “BOX” to spell out the charity’s golden rules.

Be kind to everyone; Only defend, never initiate; X-out bullying.” 

Paul Hopes To “Inspire” Kids To Stand Up For Themselves

Paul first said he was launching Boxing Bullies during a July 13 interview following a press conference for his upcoming fight against Tyron Woodley.

“I know who I am at the end of the day, which is a good person,” he told reporters. “I’m trying to change this sport, bring more eyeballs. I’m trying to support other fighters, increase fighter pay. I’m starting my charity, I’m launching that in 12 days here called Boxing Bullies and we’re helping to fight against cyberbullying.”

It has not been quite 12 days since the interview, so it’s likely that more information about the organization will be coming soon. Currently, the group has been the most active on Instagram, where it boasts a following of just around 1,200 followers. It has posted once to Twitter, where it has 32 followers; and has a TikTok account that has yet to publish any content. It also has a website, though there is not too much on it as of yet.

On its Instagram, one post introducing Paul as the founder claims the rowdy YouTuber started this charity because he has been on the receiving end of bullying.

Having been a victim of bullying himself, Jake experienced firsthand the impact it has on a person’s life,” the post says. “Jake believes that this is a prevailing issue in society that isn’t talked about enough. Boxing gave Jake the confidence to not care about what others think and he wants to share the sport and the welfare it‘s had on him with as many kids as possible.”

It adds that he hopes his group can“inspire the next generation of kids to be leaders, be athletes, and to fight back against bullying.”

Paul Previously Accused of Being a Bully

While fighting against bullying is a noble cause, it is an ironic project for Paul to start, as he has faced no shortage of bullying accusations. While Paul previously sang about “stopping kids from getting bullied” in the lunchroom, some have alleged he himself was actually a classic high school bully who threw kids’ backpacks into garbage cans. 

This behavior allegedly continued into his adulthood, as a New York Times report from earlier this year claimed he ran his Team 10 house with a culture of toxicity and bullying. Among other things, sources said he involved others in violent pranks, pressured people into doing dangerous stunts, and destroyed peoples’ personal property to make content.

Earlier this year, Paul was also accused of sexual assault, though he denied those allegations.

See what others are saying: (Dexerto)

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Director Defends Recreating Anthony Bourdain’s Voice With AI in New Documentary

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The film’s director claims he received permission from Bourdain’s estate and literary agent, but on Thursday, Bourdain’s widow publicly denied ever giving that permission. 


Bourdain’s Voice Recreated

“You are successful, and I am successful, and I’m wondering: Are you happy?” Anthony Bourdain says in a voiceover featured in “Roadrunnner,” a newly released documentary about the late chef — except Bourdain never actually said those words aloud.

Instead, it’s one of three lines in the film, which features frequent voiceovers from Bourdain, that were created through the use of artificial intelligence technology.

That said, the words are Bourdain’s own. In fact, they come from an email Bourdain reportedly wrote to a friend prior to his 2018 suicide. Nonetheless, many have now questioned whether recreating Bourdain’s voice was ethical, especially since documentaries are meant to reflect reality.

Director Defends Use of AI Voice

The film’s director, Academy Award winner Morgan Neville, has defended his use of the synthetic voice, telling Variety that he received permission from Bourdain’s estate and literary agent before inserting the lines into the film. 

“There were a few sentences that Tony wrote that he never spoke aloud,” Neville said. “It was a modern storytelling technique that I used in a few places where I thought it was important to make Tony’s words come alive.” 

Bourdain’s widow — Ottavia Bourdain, who is the executor of his estate — later denied Neville’s claim on Twitter, saying, “I certainly was NOT the one who said Tony would have been cool with that.”

In another interview with GQ, Neville described the process, saying the film’s creators “fed more than ten hours of Tony’s voice into an AI model.”

“The bigger the quantity, the better the result,” he added. “We worked with four companies before settling on the best.”

“If you watch the film,” Neville told The New Yorker, “you probably don’t know what the other lines are that were spoken by the AI, and you’re not going to know. We can have a documentary-ethics panel about it later.” 

The Ethics Debate Isn’t Being Tabled

But many want to have that discussion now.

Boston-based film critic Sean Burns, who gave the film a rare negative review, later criticized it again for its unannounced use of AI, saying he wasn’t aware that Bourdain’s voice had been recreated until after he watched the documentary.  

Meanwhile, The New Yorker’s Helen Rosner wrote that the “seamlessness of the effect is eerie.”

“If it had been a human voice double I think the reaction would be “huh, ok,” but there’s something truly unsettling about the idea of it coming from a computer,” Rosner later tweeted. 

Online, many others have criticized the film’s use of AI, with some labeling it as a “deepfake.”

Others have offered more mixed criticism, saying that while the documentary highlights the need for posthumous AI use to be disclosed, it should not be ruled out altogether. 

“In a world where the living could consent to using AI to reproduce their voices posthumously, and where people were made aware that such a technology was being used, up front and in advance, one could envision that this kind of application might serve useful documentary purposes,” David Leslie, ethics lead at the Alan Turing Institute, told the BBC.

Celebrities Recreated After Death

The posthumous use of celebrity likeness in media is not a new debate. In 2012, a hologram of Tupac took the stage 15 years after his death. In 2014, the Billboard Music Awards brought a hologram of Michael Jackson onstage five years after his death. Meanwhile, the Star Wars franchise digitally recreated actor Peter Cushing in 2016’s “Rogue One,” and unused footage of actress Carrie Fisher was later translated into “The Rise of Skywalker,” though a digital version of Fisher was never used.

In recent years, it has become almost standard for filmmakers to say that they will not create digital versions of characters whose actors die unexpectedly. For example, several months after Chadwick Boseman’s death last year, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” executive producer Victoria Alonso confirmed Boseman would not be digitally recreated for his iconic role as King T’Challa.

See what others are saying: (BBC) (Yahoo! News) (Variety)

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Doctors Want You to Know: Whatever You Do, Don’t Stick Garlic up Your Nose to Try and Relieve Congestion

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They warn the new TikTok trend could cause even worse problems, such as irritation and swelling. 


TikTok Garlic Nose Trend

In a viral trend that feels eerily similar to the Nutmeg Challenge, doctors are now warning people against participating in a TikTok trend that has users shoving whole cloves of garlic up their noses for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. 

In the videos, creators claim that garlic can relieve sinus congestion, and once they pull the cloves out of their nostrils, an excessive amount of snot comes flowing out of their noses. 

“Since tik tok took it down the first time. THIS IS NOT DANGEROUS. The garlic cleans out your sinuses,” TikTok user hwannah5 said in a June 25 post. 

Source: @hwannah5

Doctors’ Warnings

Doctors are now warning the opposite, saying that there’s no medical proof garlic acts as a decongestant. 

As Dr. Richard Wender of the University of Pennsylvania told Insider, “Evidence is important, and it would be wrong to say that we’ve done extensive research about garlic in noses.”

“But in general, garlic itself and the chemicals of garlic don’t interact much with human tissue,” he added. 

Wender went on to explain that stuffing one’s nose with foreign objects can actually cause irritation and swelling, rather than relief. 

“Yes, it’s true that garlic has some antibacterial properties, which means it may be useful to treat a variety of common ailments,” Dr. Deborah Lee from Dr. Fox Online Pharmacy told Delish. “In one study, those who took garlic supplements for three months had less colds than those who did not. But this is not the same as actively treating a stuffy nose or blocked sinuses. Garlic is not a decongestant, and in fact, may just irritate the lining of the nose and airways and make symptoms worse.”

As far as what’s causing streams of snot to pour out of people’s noses after inserting their garlic plugs, Wender said that may be occurring because the nose produces mucus when irritated. On top of that, the cloves can also block already-existing mucus from flowing. 

Instead, doctors recommend using already-known solutions if you’re feeling congested, such as vapor rubs, antihistamines, over-the-counter saline sprays, and neti pots. 

TikTok user hwannah5 later responded to a doctor’s explanation that the clove blocks create rather than clear mucus, noting that others shouldn’t repeatedly try the blocks. Doctors contend that the trend should not be done at all. 

See what others are saying: (Insider) (Delish) (The Star)

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