Carlos Maza is the video guy at Vox. He produces a YouTube show called Strikethrough. I wrote about one of his earlier shows about Antifa back in 2017. One of the people who regularly challenges Maza on YouTube is Steven Crowder. Crowder has a series of videos in which he offers a rebuttal to each of Maza’s videos as they are released. Yesterday, Maza published a thread on Twitter accusing Crowder of harassment, specifically of mocking the fact that he’s gay. As you can see, his complaints got a lot of likes and retweets:
Maza clearly had a specific goal: To get YouTube to crack down on Crowder’s channel:
Maza says this isn’t about silencing conservatives and it’s not even about him. It’s about stopping “cyberbullies.”
He then suggested people could flag Crowder’s videos while maintaining the pressure on YouTube to do something:
Today, Crowder responded with a video titled “Vox is trying to ban this channel” which you can watch below. Crowder specifically denies having doxxed anyone or having given out Maza’s personal information to anyone. What he doesn’t deny is that he’s used some nicknames for Maza which reference his identity. He says those are meant to be jokes, not attacks. Like Maza, Crowder also says this goes beyond a personal issue about him and involves progressives using their influence to ban independent, conservative content creators like himself from an important platform.
So we may be about to see a well-known conservative figure banned from social media. At least that seems possible under the circumstances. And it’s worth noting that Maza used to work at Media Matters, a progressive media watchdog well-known for attempting to get conservatives thrown off the air through social media boycotts and pressure on advertisers. I don’t know if Maza was directly involved in those efforts at Media Matters, but he’s certainly familiar with them and seems to be running his own version of them in this case.
It won’t surprise anyone that I think Crowder is getting railroaded here. Crowder is a Christian conservative and a comedian so I think his on-air schtick has to be taken in light of those two things. He’s making jokes and that should still be allowed.
That said, I can see how Maza feels he’s being mocked for personal characteristics that he can’t change, i.e. his heritage and sexuality. It may be done in jest but I can see how he might not find it funny being the butt of the same joke over and over in which the punchline is that he’s gay.
What’s really unfortunate is that Crowder’s debunking videos don’t need the personal shots to succeed. Maza’s most recent video about Vox news was a mess. It’s not a convincing argument to anyone who isn’t already a Fox-hater. In fact, it’s not much of an argument at all. It offers a conspiracy theory view of Fox which omits any and all evidence to the contrary or attempts at balance. And Crowder’s rebuttal video does a pretty good job of making the case that’s all it is. In other words, the rebuttal would work fine without the gay jokes which make up only a tiny percentage of the content anyway. Dare I say the argument might work better without making it personal?
Anyway, here’s Crowder’s video about the call to remove his channel: