YouTube CEO apologizes to LGBTQ community, but won't delete homophobic videos

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A 3D-printed YouTube icon is seen in front of a displayed YouTube logo in this illustration taken October 25, 2017 REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Ilustration

YouTube, a long-time champion of gay rights, won't remove videos peppered with homophobic and racist slurs despite massive outrage from the LGBTQ community and near widespread condemnation.

The string of videos posted by Steven Crowder, a known right-winger who was once a contributor at Fox News, targeted Vox video journalist Carlos Maza. It was Maza himself who alerted YouTube to Crowder's videos.

Maza said Crowder's videos about him are "dehumanizing, and it's something I thought YouTube would be more protective about because it brands itself as being a queer space."

In response, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki restated YouTube's initial decision reached last week, which concluded Crowder's videos "don't violate our policies." YouTube found Crowder didn't encourage his viewers to harass or dox Maza on YouTube or other platforms.

It said the main point of Crowder's videos was to respond to opinion. YouTube at first didn't suspend Crowder's channel's monetization, citing community guidelines.

Wojcicki on Monday apologized to the LGBTQ community but said YouTube's controversial decision last week will stand.

"I know the decision we made was very hurtful to the LGBT community," said Wojcicki on stage at Recode's Code Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. "That was not our intention at all. I thought it was important to be upfront about that. We are really sorry about that."

What's also riling the LGBTQ community is that YouTube, also last week, announced a new policy banning white supremacist and deniers of well-documented atrocities such as the Holocaust from its platform. LGBTQ advocates said they can't understand how Crowder's case isn't any different from content posted by white supremacists in terms of generating hate and ridicule.

As a sop to the critics of its decision, YouTube finally demonetized Crowder's videos so Crowder can't make money off of ads for "continued egregious actions that have harmed the broader community."

YouTube last week investigated Crowder for using racist and homophobic slurs targeting Maza in multiple videos. Crowder said he made the videos in response to Maza's Vox series, "Strikethrough."

In his videos, Crowder derided Maza as a "gay Mexican," "Mr. Lispy queer," and an "angry little queer." Crowder also mocked Maza using a stereotypical gay voice. Crowder also wore a t-shirt saying, "Socialism is for f*gs."

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