YouTube's Tougher Harassment Policy Cracks Down on Hate Speech and Threats

Bigoted insults, implied threats and systemic behavior are all officially forbidden on YouTube.

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy
YouTube's Tougher Harassment Policy Cracks Down on Hate Speech and Threats
Image credit: Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
2 min read
This story originally appeared on Engadget

YouTube is enacting a stricter anti-harassment policy to curb hate speech and threats that might have otherwise skirted past its moderators. The online video giant no longer allows material that "maliciously insults" people based on traits like gender identity, race or sexual orientation. It'll also bar "veiled or implied" threats, not just direct ones. You could face penalties if you simulate violence toward someone or suggest that violence might take place, YouTube said. Also, channels that routinely "brush up" against the policy will be kicked out of the YouTube Partner Program. A creator that's purposefully testing the limits of YouTube's resolve could find itself unable to make money and might find itself banned outright if its behavior continues beyond that point.

Related: How to Create a YouTube Channel in 3 Simple Steps

The company also noted that it's nearly finished with the rollout of a feature that gives channel operators a chance to review potentially toxic comments before they go public. It was recently turned on by default for larger channels and should reach most channels by the end of 2019.

The tougher policy appears targeted directly at people like right-wing commentator Stephen Crowder, who came under fire for videos that insulted Vox host Carlos Maza based on his homosexuality and Latino background, not to mention led to sustained harassment by Crowder's fans. At the time, YouTube claimed that Crowder wasn't violating policies, in part because he hadn't explicitly told viewers to harass Maza. YouTube later demonetized his channel, but this would make such responses more common and open the possibility of bans for this kind of activity.

Related: Learn How to Make Big Money on YouTube

This new approach could antagonize right-wingers that have already accused YouTube of having an anti-conservative bias. At the same time, though, many have blasted YouTube for allowing thinly-veiled hate speech and harassment campaigns to persist on technicalities no matter what their political affiliations might be. So long as it's consistently enforced, this new stance could theoretically help YouTube continue its crackdown on hate and prevent people from using videos as weapons.

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Are you paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.

Latest on Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Media, Inc. values your privacy. In order to understand how people use our site generally, and to create more valuable experiences for you, we may collect data about your use of this site (both directly and through our partners). By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the use of that data. For more information on our data policies, please visit our Privacy Policy.