After leaving his job at Vox, Carlos Maza is launching his own independent YouTube channel on a site he hates. According to Maza, YouTube should be destroyed because it is overrun with arch conservatives. But since even socialists have to eat, he is going to try to make a living on the site while he destroys it. And fortunately, he has help launching his new YouTube channel from an insignificant, completely neutral newspaper called the NY Times:
Rather than swearing off YouTube, Mr. Maza, who is a New York-based socialist, decided to seize the means of his own video production.
“I’m going to use the master’s tools to destroy the master’s house,” he said in an interview. “I want to build up an audience and use every chance I get to explain how destructive YouTube is.”…
YouTube can be harsh terrain for a professional leftist. The site is nominally open to all views, but in practice is dominated by a strain of reactionary politics that is marked by extreme skepticism of mainstream media, disdain for left-wing “social justice warriors” and a tunnel-vision fixation on political correctness.
In recent years, some progressive YouTubers have tried to counter this trend by making punchy, opinionated videos aimed at left-wing viewers. BreadTube, a loose crew of socialist creators who named themselves after a 19th-century anarchist book, “The Conquest of Bread,” has made modest stars out of leftists like Natalie Wynn, a YouTube personality known as ContraPoints, and Oliver Thorn, a British commentator known as PhilosophyTube.
I’ve written about Natalie Wynn a couple of times. Her show is well produced and interesting. Even if you don’t ultimately agree with everything she’s saying, she appears to be making an honest effort to see things from various sides. That’s very different from what Carlos Maza was doing at Vox.
Speaking of Wynn, the other thing the author of this Times’ piece doesn’t mention is that Natalie Wynn was in the process of being canceled last month over a spat with trans critics she had offended in a previous video. I guess that little bit of current events didn’t fit the narrative of this piece, i.e. left-wing creators being targeted by the right.
In any case, Maza seems ready to do his best to profit from the system he hates. In his first video on the new channel he says he hates YouTube, adding “It’s a sh**ty company that exploits its creators and doesn’t deserve to exist, but while it does I might as well flood its airwaves with leftist propaganda.”
Maza’s problem is that he wants to preach to an exclusively left-wing audience and doesn’t want anyone like Steven Crowder to be able to disagree with him on the same platform using the same tools and freedoms. As I wrote during his attempt to have Steven Crowder banned from the site:
I can see why Maza didn’t find Crowder’s jokes about his sexuality funny (‘He’s gay’ isn’t a great punchline given that this is an immutable personal characteristic). But ultimately Maza was trying to silence Crowder based on what was clearly intended as biting humor. Also, the jabs at Maza only represented a small portion of Crowder’s content. Far more of Crowder’s time in his response videos was spent critiquing the actual content Maza was offering. No doubt Maza didn’t like having a personal gadfly critiquing everything he produced but that’s how free speech works.
Maza tried to whip up a mob to punish a critic. That effort failed when YouTube determined that Crowder’s criticism was more substance than personal attack. I don’t see any reason to think Maza has changed much since then but maybe the very end of his first clip on the new channel does show he’s at least trying to be a little less sure of himself and a little more open to criticism this time around. If he really wants to succeed, he should try actually talking with other creators including those who don’t completely agree with him instead of treating everyone to the right of Mao as someone who must be destroyed.