YouTube's history of rewarding Steven Crowder

During 2021, Steven Crowder received four known strikes and suspensions on YouTube. According to YouTube’s policy, three strikes on a given channel results in a permanent suspension if the strikes are within 90 days of each other. This results in a system catered for abuse in which hateful content creators like Crowder can repeatedly accrue strikes, but never face permanent censure.

Crowder’s Youtube channel StevenCrowder -- where he streams his show Louder with Crowder -- is a hellish sewer oozing hate speech and misinformation into the minds of its 5.5 million subscribers. Crowder continually infringes on the platform’s hate speech, bullying, and misinformation policies.

By any of its own policy standards, YouTube would’ve permanently removed him. But here’s how the platform has allowed a serial policy offender to remain on the platform:

  • June 2019

    Crowder’s first major admonishment on YouTube came in June 2019 when the platform demonetized his account, which meant that Crowder could no longer run ads on his channel. YouTube’s determination followed then-Vox staffer (and former Media Matters researcher) Carlos Maza outlining Crowder’s history of homophobic bullying. Though YouTube stopped Crowder from running future ads, it did not suspend him for his rhetoric. Instead, the platform determined that Crowder’s homophobic harassment did not, in fact, violate its policies.

  • August 2020

    YouTube’s decision to demonetize Crowder’s channel was not permanent. In August 2020, the platform once again allowed Crowder to run ads on his channel, citing his “track record of policy-compliant behavior” following the suspension.

  • March 2021

    During the March 16 edition of his show, Crowder and his co-hosts engaged in a wildly racist tirade against Black farmers. The video garnered tremendous criticism. YouTube initially determined the video did not violate its terms of service. But it did, however, remove the video for spreading misinformation regarding COVID-19.

    Video file

    Citation From the March 16, 2021, edition of Louder with Crowder, streamed on YouTube

    STEVEN CROWDER: Joe -- former vice president Joe Biden -- his America Rescue Plan includes farmer reparations. Now, what does that mean? It means -- and I don't know where you find this many farmers of color, but they did. And 5.2 billion are being allocated exclusively for colored farmers -- farmers of color, farmers of color. Roll the tape.


    CROWDER: Most happy about the new policy, these people. So, yeah. I'm gonna buy a plow man.

    CO-HOST: I'm going buy corn.

    CROWDER: I'm going to buy a John Deere. Barack Obama mother -- I'm the president of plowing that ass.

    DAVE LANDAU (CO-HOST): I thought the last thing they would want to do is be farmers. Wasn't that a big problem for hundreds of years?

    CROWDER: Isn't that why Arsenio Hall called himself the urban man's Johnny Carson?

    LANDAU: I think so.

    CROWDER: Yeah, I don't know, I don't know. Are people lining up out in the middle of cornfield Iowa for new dunks?


    LANDAU: I planted a Hennessy tree, but it's not growing.

    CROWDER: Well, technically it did grow, but that shit ain't XO --

    LANDAU: I put it in the ground.

    CROWDER: I planted a VSOPXO tree. I'm getting into some niche esoteric cognac humor motherfucker.

    On March 29, Crowder announced on Instagram that YouTube had temporarily suspended the StevenCrowder channel. The Verge reported that the platform had indefinitely demonetized the channel. YouTube cited its policy “related to misinformation and incendiary and demeaning content” as part of its rationale. Crowder’s lawyer Bill Richmond said YouTube had determined a video from earlier in the month violated the platform’s policy on election-related misinformation.

    Immediately after the suspension, Crowder announced his intention to evade YouTube’s suspension by using his secondary channel CrowderBits.

  • May 2021

    Crowder announced that YouTube had temporarily suspended StevenCrowder for two weeks and the secondary channel CrowderBits for one week. This was the result of YouTube putting a strike on Crowder’s April 21 episode for violating the platform’s policy against cyberbullying and harassment. In the episode, Crowder and his co-hosts mocked police-shooting victim Ma’Khia Bryant for her weight.

    Video file

    Citation From the April 21, 2021, edition of Louder with Crowder, streamed on YouTube

    DAVE LANDAU (CO-HOST): If he didn't do anything and she died, they'd be pissed off about that. This is people looking for violence. 

    STEVEN CROWDER (HOST): We have to balance saving the Black lady's life in the pink sweatsuit or taking the life of the, granted only 16 but 230 pounds -- which is a whole other problem that we'll get to in a second -- 230-pound girl swinging a bladed weapon. She would've stabbed that girl. The only question is would it have been a fatal stabbing. OK?


    LANDAU: Absolutely, and look at what happened. I mean, the reality is is the girl's being stabbed. She called the police. There's a lot of stuff going on. The other girl's fifth DoorDash had just shown up. It was a real mess. 


    LANDAU: Oh, moves like a gazelle for that kind of weight. Sorry if you're mad, but seriously, she was stabbing someone. Stabbing. 

    CROWDER: She's like an old Foreman, you know what I mean? She's like doesn't look the same but she's got that power. She can still throw that overhand knife. OK. 

    LANDAU: And she named all of her sons George. 


    CROWDER: Now here is something else, though, too. It doesn't matter what the truth is. The mother went on record describing the daughter as mostly peaceful. 


    And to administer justice I will sacrifice a rooster. 

    Crowder’s website confirmed that this was his “second hard strike” from YouTube

  • October 2021

    On October 13, YouTube placed another strike on Crowder’s main channel for a September 30 video, which offensively purported misinformation against trans people. YouTube removed the episode from the platform for its hate speech policy violation.

  • December 2021

    On December 15, Crowder received another strike from YouTube. This one was levied against the December 14 episode of Louder with Crowder for violating YouTube’s policy against hate speech. YouTube removed the video and Crowder did not broadcast on YouTube for the remainder of 2021.

  • January 2022

    Crowder announced he will be returning to broadcasts on January 11 following a holiday break. When he returns to YouTube, he will still be within the 90-day timeframe following his October strike. As a result, if he receives one more strike within the first few days, he will be removed from the platform permanently.

  • YouTube's policy fosters abuse

    Though Crowder received four strikes in 2021, there were never three within 90 days of each other, which is what he needs to avoid to stay on the platform.

    On Youtube, Crowder has used racial slurs, bullied journalists, mocked women and members of the LGBTQ community, and spread misinformation. YouTube has yet to permanently suspend his account.

    YouTube’s 90-day policy with regard to strikes fosters a system of permissible abuse in which people like Crowder can regularly break the platform’s policies while retaining their channel.