In mid-June, Daily Wire host Candace Owens faced suspension from YouTube for violating the platform's terms of service with an alleged second strike reportedly related to “hateful and derogatory” content. After Owens and her colleagues responded by denouncing the platform, Candace Owens returned to YouTube with severe anti-gay rhetoric.
YouTube’s terms of service prohibit posting content to “incite hatred” against individuals or groups based on characteristics including gender identity and expression or sexual orientation.
Additionally, YouTube community guidelines specify that three strikes within a 90-day period could result in the removal of a channel from the platform — and according to YouTube monetization policies, ad revenue is contingent on compliance with community guidelines.
However, despite the actions YouTube has taken to penalize her for violating its terms of service, Owens has continued to post content that appears to violate the platform’s hate speech policies. Additionally, the episodes Media Matters has identified as containing potentially violative content are both monetized.
On July 14, Owens published an interview with conservative commentator Brandon Tatum titled “Is Homosexuality Ruining Western Civilization?”
In the interview, Tatum posited that LGBTQ identities are primarily the product of child sexual assault, molestation, and pornography, and Owens added that societal acceptance has made LGBTQ identity an “option” such that it has increased from a “small subset of people who were perhaps molested” to a spreading “social contagion.” Tatum continued, without pushback, to say that the ultimate “agenda” of the LGBTQ movement is to groom children and “push pedophilia.”
A few days later, on July 17, Owens again asserted that child sexual assault is the primary origin of homosexual identity, saying that gay and lesbian people refuse to address childhood trauma and are making a “choice” to remain “homosexual.” Building on her interview with Tatum, Owens also argued that sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is the fault of “homosexual men that have invaded institutions.”
Both Owens’ interview with Tatum and her commentary that followed exhibited an increasingly common right-wing smear baselessly accusing LGBTQ people of pedophilia or “grooming.” The popularization of the “groomer” slur has also been linked to acts of violence against LGBTQ people and allies across the country, including threats to drag story hours, gay politicians, and children’s hospitals.
By fueling this trend of anti-LGBTQ hatred which has led to direct violence at its most extreme, Owens is again seemingly in violation of YouTube policy.