Right-wing YouTuber Steven Crowder is – once again – just a single strike away from permanently losing his channel and it’s more than 5.6 million subscribers.
What did Crowder do this time? He let Alex Jones, who is permanently banned from YouTube, guest host his show.
“We issued a strike to the StevenCrowder and CrowderBits channels for violating our Terms of Service, which prohibit content created or hosted by creators who have been terminated,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement provided to Mashable. “In accordance with our three-strikes system, these channels are suspended from uploading content to YouTube for two weeks.”
On Monday, Jones, the conspiracy theorist best-known for spreading falsehoods about the Sandy Hook shooting appeared on Crowder’s YouTube show, “Louder with Crowder,” to fill-in for Crowder who did not appear on the program. YouTube’s policies(opens in a new tab) explicitly say that banned creators are not allowed to appear “repeatedly or prominently” on other creators’ YouTube channels as this is viewed by the company as attempting to circumvent the ban. A YouTube representative confirmed to Mashable that “guest-hosting on another channel” qualifies as a violation.
Alex Jones was officially banned from YouTube in August 2018 after uploading a series of videos that violated YouTube’s content policies.
As Media Matters for America(opens in a new tab) points out, Gerald Morgan, who is Crowder’s co-host, and the CEO of “Louder with Crowder,” was clearly aware of YouTube’s policy regarding banned creators as Morgan repeatedly warned viewers that Crowder’s stream could be taken down at any moment due to Jones’ appearance. Morgan told viewers to watch the stream over at their channel on Rumble, an alternative video service that platforms numerous right-wing personalities.
In addition to streaming the full episode on the StevenCrowder channel, clips from the Jones-hosted episode were also posted on the CrowderBits channel, which evidently resulted in CrowderBits receiving its own separate suspension. Crowder has previously used the CrowderBits channel to evade suspensions on his main account.
According to YouTube’s rules, a two-week suspension is in accordance with both channels each having received two strikes. A third strike within 90 days for either channel would result in that channel being permanently terminated from the platform.
As Media Matters originally reported(opens in a new tab), Crowder appeared on a May 17(opens in a new tab) livestream on Rumble to address his YouTube suspension.
“We’ve been suspended and potentially permabanned from YouTube,” Crowder said during the stream, adding that he had “five strikes across my two YouTube channels within five minutes.”
Crowder defended having Jones host the show, referring to the conspiracy theorist as his “friend.”
“YouTube, fuck you,” Crowder said.
Will Crowder be banned? It’s possible he’ll violate YouTube’s terms again and receive that third strike, but it should be noted that he’s been just on the edge of an account termination on the site before. His channel has received strikes and been temporarily suspended multiple times over the years. However, Crowder has always made sure that YouTube strikes expired, so he’s never received that third strike within the 90-day timeframe before.
This time around though, things are a bit different. For one, Crowder has Rumble as a back up if he needs one. Also, he’s fully independent for the first time, as his channel was previously backed by larger right-wing media networks. The next 90 days will be interesting to watch, as they may spell the end of Steven Crowder’s tenure as a YouTuber.