YouTube has announced changes to its anti-harassment policies, which will now cover all creators, regardless of their social status as a celebrity, politician or other public figure. This change follows several criticisms made of YouTube for "protecting" certain creators.
One of the most popular cases is Carlos Maza, from the Vox channel. Maza has been insulted by political commentator and comedian Steve Crowder, who has several videos commenting on Maza's mannerisms and sexual orientation in a derogatory and humiliating manner.
To avoid the anger of offended creators and the public, YouTube has promised to revise its anti-harassment policies, leading to these changes. YouTube policies have been changed in 4 key ways.
YouTube will take insults and threats more seriously on the platform
The first change is threats are banned, albeit verbal. Even if they are not direct threats, YouTube will act. For example, talking about someone with guns in hand or putting someone's face in a violent game will be a violation of the new policies.
Second, YouTube will look at what creators say on their channels to avoid defamation campaigns. If a creator has multiple videos repeatedly insulting or defaming the same person, YouTube may consider this a violation and remove the offending videos.
Third, words or slang that offends people based on race, sex, or sexual orientation will be banned. Lastly, we have a tool that automatically detects offensive comments and doesn't post them. Such comments will only be published with the approval of the creator.
These are very effective policies, at least on paper. However, on a platform like YouTube, how can you distinguish insults and serious threats from simple jokes or jokes? Let's see what kind of repercussions these new policies will have on freedom of expression.
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