On Matt Binder’s DOOMED podcast, Media Matters' Jason Campbell details how Steven Crowder repeatedly violates YouTube's Community Guidelines

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Citation From the January 20, 2022, edition of Matt Binder's DOOMED podcast

MATT BINDER (HOST): Let's get into Crowder's history of breaking YouTube policy. Now, I guess, I looked at this timeline and actually I was a little surprised it didn't start earlier. But, I guess YouTube -- I mean, when you think about it, what, when did Alex Jones get booted off? And I think there was no one more obviously breaking any sort of policy YouTube had at the time than him. And that was only, what, in, like, late 2017? No, 2018.

JASON CAMPBELL (GUEST): Yeah, I believe so, yeah.

BINDER: Yeah, so, I mean, actual policies that really affected these guys didn't really come into effect until really where your timeline seems to begin. I mean, I guess he got a good year head start not to get in trouble. Your timeline starts in June 2019.

CAMPBELL: June 2019 was when Carlos Maza, who was working at Fox at the time and used to work in Media Matters, did a very effective job of pointing out just what a bully Steven Crowder is. He was very cruel to Carlos on the show, personally. And, you know, it became a big enough issue that YouTube was sort of boxed into having to respond to it. And their response to it was to demonetized Crowder's account, but they did not suspend him for it. The demonization ended up being temporary because in a little more than a year later, he's back to being monetized again. That didn't stick. But nonetheless, it showed that they were sort of willing to give him some leeway and the type of action that he was able to do on his own show

BINDER: Right. And then there was that -- so when he got demonetized first, and then he was remonetized. 


BINDER: And we are now in the period where -- what was the act that got him permanently demonetized? Because some people might not know this, but Crowder cannot actually monetize his YouTube channel anymore, permanently. Like, that is actually one repercussion of breaking YouTube's policies over and over and over and over again, that YouTube has actually permanently stuck with Crowder. They are not paying him for any ads that show on his YouTube channel. He cannot accept super chats. He can, which is for people who don't know one off payments. You can give in live streams to basically highlight your comment and support the creator. He can't create paid YouTube subscriptions, which they call the memberships. He practically can only use YouTube as the tool to get his message out, and then he has to basically funnel his viewers into off platform ways where they can then subscribe to him or pay him in some way.

CAMPBELL: Yes, that's correct. So that happened in March of 2021, when at least indefinite monetization happened. It hasn't come back since, so we hope it's permanent. And YouTube cited him spreading COVID misinformation for that. Unfortunately with a lot of these things, we have to just rely on what Crowder says because the messages are going to him from YouTube. And though there is some reporting like you had about independently reaching out to YouTube about it, a lot of the information we have to derive just comes from what he provides. So according to YouTube issued by Crowder, they cited COVID misinformation as the reason to give them a first strike of the year and also indefinitely demonetize his account.

BINDER: Right. And I recall this might be before he was permanently demonetized, but I recall I mean, there's a few specific instances we’ll discuss to really hone in on just how this guy puts stuff out there that clearly under YouTube's own policies, should result in repercussions that – more permanent than what he's received. There was that that super racist rant he went on about Black farmers in, I think it was last year

CAMPBELL: Yeah, it was around the same time as this first. I think it was even like within two weeks prior if I'm getting my exact dates down. Yeah, it was – I mean, I watched Steven Crowder’s show every single day and –

BINDER: Condolences.

CAMPBELL: Yeah, it's it's definitely prematurely aging me and, you know, incredibly racist things. I mean, that's just par for the course from him. But this one even stood out to me as just being like, shockingly racist. YouTube apparently decided that it wasn't at least enough to warrant a suspension because they did not give him one for that, but they gave him a strike for COVID misinformation like, I think like two weeks later. So, you know, whether or not that has to do with, I don't know you, YouTube trying to parse between, you know, their previous decision and then needed to have some kind of a reaction. I don't know. That's just speculation, but it does clearly show that they – and it's the tendency that pans out throughout the whole rest of the year and all of the strikes that he occurs that it seems kind of arbitrary what YouTube just decides they're going to put a suspension in for. I mean, I see content daily that by any normal standards, Crowder should get a strike for. It's just repetitive constantly and he does it and then they'll strike him for something. And honestly, when I see that strike come in, I'm like, that was the thing that you did it? It could have done it for all these other things.

BINDER: Right.

CAMPBELL: But that’s the way that they choose.

BINDER: One specific segment still sticks with me. I mean, there's a few that I could probably, if I really think will come back to me right away, but one that is just like always on the tip of my mind. And he didn't even like – there was no punishment for this. And you know what, if this is their policy and they don't find a thing wrong with this type of content, then that's fine. But clearly, they – their own policies say differently. When he reenacted what happened to George Floyd with someone putting the full force of their knee and their entire body on the back of Floyd's neck. Well Crowder obviously reenacted that to show how I guess how tough he was or how it was impossible that this could have been alright, it was – it was his way of saying there's no way this could have killed Floyd. Floyd was going to die anyway because he was a drug addict, hopped up on fentanyl. I think it was. That was his whole point.

CAMPBELL: Yes. No, exactly. Yeah, I remember watching it and just being in kind of shock about it. I mean, you lose the capacity to feel shock anymore after a while with him. But yes, no, stuff like that happens all the time on the show.

BINDER: Now let's go to he has a secondary channel, this I actually I mean, I knew it existed, but I haven't been following anything on this secondary channel, but it's in your timeline. He has a second channel that I guess cuts clips out of the longer live stream in like, you know, a lot of channels do that, I do that on this channel because there are people who love sitting around for two or three hours and there’s people who only will watch a clip if it's under like 10 minutes long. So I get that. But this channel, what's the status of this channel? What did it do and is it still even a thing?

CAMPBELL: Yeah. So you're right. Basically, what it does is called it's a channel called CrowderBits, and it's basically just, yeah, exactly clips from the show that he puts up. What the interesting part about it was when the first right came through in March of 2021, he immediately announced on Instagram. I think that he was planning to evade the ban by broadcasting on CrowderBits. And that was the only time during all of the suspensions I ever heard him use that as a possibility, and since then, I never saw him actually appropriate that channels of full streaming platform. It seems to be when suspensions come out, he follows them, maybe because he's worried about actually getting banned. I don't really know. But there are times where it's like one of the strikes that he gets, the Louder With Crowder channel will be suspended for two weeks and the CrowderBits channel will be suspended for one week or something like that. And so, for instance, from all I know is that they still post content. I saw some come through today and it's still active, along with his main account.

BINDER: Now people have to understand that according to YouTube's policies, if one of your channels gets a strike, which leads to, well, I guess we should leave this out here now. We'll get further into the details of YouTube's policies in a little bit. But one strike on YouTube equals a week suspension. Two strikes equals two weeks suspension. Three strikes, permanent ban. Now, during the time after a strike number one and a strike number two, YouTube specifically says, because early on, this would be the workaround. They've closed that loophole, saying that you cannot go on YouTube and use your secondary account if your other account has a suspension. They changed the wording to say the suspension is on the user themselves and not on that specific channel. So technically, if CrowderBits gets a strike and they are suspended for a week, Crowder is not eligible to use his main Louder with Crowder channel for that week as well.

CAMPBELL: Yes, I believe that's correct.

BINDER: And you know, it's interesting to point that out because I don't know if he's ever tried anything about that, but I know he's definitely been very careful as to not get that third strike. And I think the most obvious was this past, well, the end of this past year, Crowder's always had a thing where he really hates transgender people and it's been one of his long standing, I mean, really, I think more so than I mean, if I – if you thought the the racist bits I mentioned to you earlier, I mean, that technically might even be like not even his worst when compared to like how often he goes on these long-ranting segments on trans people. And YouTube has very specific rules when it comes to attacks on the LGBTQ community.

And the first one that you mentioned, in fact, I think you sourced an article I wrote and I covered it on the show. He did a segment where he sourced a anti-trans turf group who claimed that there was a a rise in women in prisons in California being raped by transgender people because of a California law that basically allows trans people to go into a, you know, a trans inmate can request to be moved to a prison that reflects their gender identity. It's a long process. It's not as simple as just saying, I know I am a – of inmates in a men's prison, they can't just go, I'm a woman. I want to go into a women's prison. There's actually a long process with reviews and such. There's only been a handful of people actually moved under this law, and he basically sourced this anti-TERF group, saying that one of the cis women in this prison was raped by a trans woman and was impregnated by them. And it later came out that this TERF group was completely bullshitting. They even admitted it when later recalling their own details that, you know, they just heard this through the grapevine or words detailing something that could happen. I had reached out to the local – basically the corrections facility in California, and they gave me the full on stats of the trans inmates and where they are in each prison. And, you know, basically they said this specific case does not exist. I mean, hey, listen, I understand there's issues with TERF organizations and issues with how you can believe in a corrections officer – facility. But if an inmate is impregnated, will know eventually, if that's true or not. I mean, there's going to be a result from that. And clearly, that wasn't the case, and he got suspended for a week for that one.

CAMPBELL: Yes. Yeah, in terms of – the point that you brought up first was perfect. I mean, at this point, you know, you kind of feel like – when you're talking about the horrible things that Steven Crowder says and does, you're really seen with him for it. But I would agree with you that he seems to reserve like the greatest level of vitriolic hatred toward trans people, which does not, by the way, totally a comment to him. I mean, the concept that you see, the anti-trans content you see in conservative media these days is really quite astounding. It reminds me of content that you would see, you know, hate speech you against gay people in the 1950s. It's really shocking. And they do it because they get away with it, and that supposed to be acceptable to their audiences. And it's horrifying and Crowder really exploits it, and it's interesting out of the air strikes that he received in 2021. Two of them were just for anti-LGBT content. One of them was for the COVID information, as I mentioned earlier, and that one of the most for for online harassment and bullying. So even YouTube recognizes this as sort of a persistent problem that he has. And you can watch this show, you know, daily, and it's not totally uncommon for him to still say that women are being raped by trans people in California prisons. So something is not true. It doesn't really matter on the show. He's still sensitive about this.

BINDER: Right? I love the idea – this is a little bit of a tangent here, but I want to throw this out there. I love the idea that – it’s not an idea, I love the fact that the only time you can find content from conservatives who worry about the sexual assaults happening in prison among the prison population is in these like rare, rare instances of transgender people being the perpetrators of this. Remember, the prison population is largely male and a very, very small portion of that population is transgender. And you know, they even will make prison rape jokes all the time to show you how seriously they take, you know, sexual assault in prison. But you know, it's OK, I guess, when it's happening, running rampant in a men's prison between two, I guess, biological men. But if a trans person is involved, then oh hell no. Got to ramp up the hatred there. I've got to warn people about what's going on in prisons finally.

CAMPBELL: Yeah, I mean, it's almost a phase like possibility of comprehension in the way that trans issues is a nexus generally has just become such an overwhelming part of the conservative psyche right now. The demonization, the otherness, constantly that you see threads. And I mean, I see regularly, on a daily basis, I see conservative media people say, like, you know, this is the downfall of our civilization because, you know, we think it's like, appropriate to, like, be polite to people about how they identify as themselves. And I've been, I think in a lot of cases, they're serious about it. I mean, and Crowder is a really, really leading light when it comes to mainstreaming the acceptability of just being a complete bully to trans people and any possible example, true or false, it doesn't matter, he'll pick up and use so long as he can cudgel people who are weaker than him because they don't have the same platform that he has. That's what makes him a bully. He has 5.5  million subscribers, and he gets to take them out on anyone you know who he just doesn't like on any given day. And trans people are very frequently a target of that.