A spat between two popular YouTubers is calling into question how the company handles harassment on its platform.

Carlos Maza, host of the Vox series Strikethrough, is routinely the object of right-wing vlogger Steven Crowder’s ire. Last month, Maza tweeted a video compilation of all the bullying he says he has received from Crowder. In a series of follow-up tweets, Maza argued that Crowder’s videos directly violated YouTube’s harassment policy which prohibits “content that is deliberately posted in order to humiliate someone”.

The controversy has sparked a backlash by members of the LGBTQ community who are angered by YouTube’s decision to allow Crowder’s homophobic videos to stay on the platform.

"YouTube has always been a home for so many LGBTQ creators and that's why it was so emotional, and though it was a hard decision, it was made harder that it came from us because we've been such an important home," said YouTube CEO Suan Wokjcicki during her response to a question by an LGBTQ reporter at CodeCon, an annual technology conference.

LGBT activists are also pointing out the hypocrisy of YouTube celebrating LGBT Pride Month by changing its avatar on Twitter to reference the rainbow flag, a symbol associated with the pro-gay rights movement.

So is YouTube harbouring harassment or an online home for free speech? We ask our panel on this episode of The Stream. 

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Carlos Maza @gaywonk
Youtuber, Vox

Carolyn Davis Hedges @RTVProfHedges
Professor, Syracuse University 

Subbu Vincent @subbuvincent
Director of journalism ethics, Markkula Center

Read more: 
LGBTQ influencers criticize YouTube after homophobic videos are allowed to stay - RollingStone 
YouTube's 'borderline content' is a hate speech quagmire - Forbes 
UN investigator David Kaye: break up Facebook, Google - Al Jazeera 

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