This weekend, Google CEO Sundar Pichai had a hour interview Pichai said YouTube was "very focused on removing harmful content" and that his thoughts on freedom of expression were very alarming.
The CEO has boasted that YouTube had recorded 9 million videos violating his policies, adding that YouTube aimed to correctly draw the line between freedom of expression and hate speech "more than 99% of the time" .
Even if YouTube drew the line in the right place, this margin of error of 1% would imply that 90,000 perfectly acceptable videos would be deleted in a wrong way. But we have no reason to trust YouTube to draw this line in the right place. The censorship and demonetization of Steven Crowder, Prager U and other conservative personalities by YouTube are proof of this.
In addition, YouTube has now shown with its actions, and even m said specifically, that his directives do not count. The content does not need to violate its language policies to be demonetized, it simply has to be considered politically incorrect. That was the answer given to Crowder, who was demonetized for "flagrant actions". In addition to the 9 million videos removed by YouTube, countless others are being demonetized, along with Crowder.
In the interview with CNN, Pichai defended YouTube's decision to demonetize Crowder. "Dealing with online harassment, based on your identity or sexual orientation, is extremely bad," he said. Part of Crowder's demonetization was due to his shirts that say: "Socialism is for figs", in which the letter "i" is replaced by an image of a fig that could easily be confused for a letter "at".
As a comedian, Crowder certainly makes comments that are not politically correct – sometimes remarkably. Personally, I would not defend many things that Crowder said. However, it's still a terrible response from YouTube, as prominent Liberal comedians with YouTube channels and saying things even more shocking than Crowder, have faced no threat or censorship.
Last week, John Oliver invoked Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to joke that "even the dirty Catholics" deserved to be judged by the content of their character, which, for someone less hostile to religion than Google, could be considered harassment based on religion. Stephen Colbert has described President Trump's mouth as "holster" for Vladimir Putin. Chelsea Handler called Ivanka Trump "feckless c —". Bill Maher did racist comments on African Americans earlier this year, and he has a long story to make anti-Catholic jokes. Trevor Noah is mocked by the Indians in one of his monologues.
I could cite examples like this all day, but it should already be obvious that it takes a conservative comedian to get banned. The fact is, if YouTube can not let comedians become comedians, it should at least apply a consistent set of standards to ban and demonetize content creators. Comedians will make jokes that offend people they do not like, and this is something that Google must accept or at least apply consistent guidelines that do not blatantly discriminate against a traditional point of view.