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Big Revolution - YouTube's baffling harassment stance

Welcome to Wednesday's newsletter. Let's dive straight in... — Martin from Big Revolution
June 5 · Issue #437 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Wednesday’s newsletter. Let’s dive straight in…
— Martin from Big Revolution

Big things you need to know today
  • Apparently homophobic abuse is acceptable on YouTube. The company has decided not to act on a complaint of repeated harassment by a prominent YouTuber. More on this below.
  • The US Securities and Exchange Commission is suing messaging app firm Kik Interactive over an ICO it held two years ago. Selling digital tokens may have saved the company, but the sale was illegal, the SEC says.
  • iOS 13 will help your device’s battery live longer by only fully charging it when it thinks you’re almost ready to take it off charge. This is useful for those long, overnight charges where batteries will tend to stay at 100% for hours. These periods can reduce the overall lifespan of the battery.
  • Bird has unveiled a fancy electric bike. The Bird Cruiser features an LCD screen that shows the rider’s progress along their route.
  • Smell like a gamer: Microsoft is selling Xbox-branded bodywash and deodorant for some reason.
The big thought
YouTube. Credit: Leon Bublitz on Unsplash
YouTube. Credit: Leon Bublitz on Unsplash
YouTube’s baffling harassment stance
If you read Carlos Maza’s much-shared Twitter thread about the harassment he had received from YouTuber Steven Crowder and his fans, you may have been expecting YouTube to take action. But no, apparently homophobia is A-OK on YouTube.
“Crowder has routinely, over the course of years, made derogatory and mocking remarks about Maza’s sexuality and ethnicity when making videos attempting to debunk the Vox video series Strikethrough…
"Crowder likened his remarks to jokes, calling them “harmless ribbing” in a response video earlier this week. Crowder also sells a T-shirt on his website, an image of which is also his featured Twitter banner photo, that features a homophobic slur with one letter omitted. Crowder supporters have since fashioned a version of the t-shirt specifically targeting Maza.
Much to the fury of many online today, YouTube says such behaviour doesn’t warrant any action against Crowder.
Quite how the behaviour doesn’t break YouTube’s rules is anyone’s guess but it’s hard not to read it as YouTube simply not wanting to rise the ire of conversationalists with mobilised fanbases if it can help it — especially when they have popular shows on its platform.
That this has happened in Pride Month casts the whole episode in a particularly grim light. Homophobia is apparently acceptable as a "deeply offensive opinion” that doesn’t violate its rules.
Gizmodo managed to get a bit more out of YouTube, which essentially argued that the homophobic comments are okay as they weren’t simple abuse but used as part of a ‘debate.’ As Gizmodo explains, this stance is deeply flawed:
“This is not only a fundamental misunderstanding of the intent of hate speech, which is not to 'debate’ or 'respond’ but to dehumanize, but is almost indistinguishable from bad-faith rhetorical arguments offered up by people spreading hate speech.” 
Baffling. Truly baffling.
One big read
How Politicians and Scholars Turned Against Big Tech How Politicians and Scholars Turned Against Big Tech
A good look at the various groups out to ‘get’ big tech by calling for reform and regulation.
One big tweet
Podcasting still has a lot of evolving to do…
Casey Newton
The main thing I want from podcast discovery is the ability to follow people across shows. Let me know when someone I like appears on a podcast I don’t subscribe to.
That’s all for today...
Back in your inbox tomorrow with more. See you then!
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