Washington – YouTube responded to criticism of user harassment on the internet platform on Wednesday by updating its policies with a ban on implicit threats and malicious insults.
YouTube said it has always banned content that explicitly threatens someone or that encourages people to harass someone else, but will now add implicit threats and demeaning language to the criteria.
The Google-owned platform said this includes content simulating violence toward an individual or language suggesting violence may occur.
“No individual should be subject to harassment that suggests violence,” said Matt Halprin,
“YouTube vice president, said in a blog post. “Beyond threatening someone, there is also demeaning language that goes too far.”
The new policy bars content that maliciously insults someone based on such things as race, gender expression or sexual orientation, Halprin said.
The change follows months of debate spurred by videos posted by conservative comedian and host Steven Crowder citing Latino journalist Carlos Maza’s sexual orientation and ethnic background.
Maza, who identifies as gay, spoke out in May about repeated harassment he said he experienced from Crowder.
YouTube initially said Crowder’s comments did not violate its policies, but the platform deemed them “hurtful.”
It later decided to suspend Crowder’s ability to earn ad revenue. The backlash continued however and the company was sued in August by a group of creators, according to Vox, where Maza works.
Under the new rules, some of the videos on Crowder’s YouTube channel are likely to be deleted.