In an abrupt reversal amid an ongoing online firestorm, YouTube announced Wednesday that it would block conservative commentator Steven Crowder from making any money on videos he uploaded to the site, following a torrent of outrage from left-wing groups about insulting remarks he made about a gay political personality working at Vox.
YouTube, a Google subsidiary, claimed Crowder had engaged in a "continued egregious actions that have harmed the broader community," but acknowledged that Crowder's videos "did not violate our Community Guidelines." The company stopped short of banning Crowder and deleting his videos entirely, as many progressive groups and journalists demanded.
Crowder's demonetization, in turn, prompted conservatives to renew charges of large-scale censorship and hypocrisy against the big tech giant. Several right-leaning content creators, as well as nonpartisan journalists documenting hate speech, charged that YouTube was engaged in an broad "purge" Wednesday against their channels, which were not directly related to the Crowder dispute.