YouTube personality and commentator Steven Crowder is claiming that YouTube is “disregarding single party consent laws” in order to satisfy objections by leftist social justice warriors. Known for his series of videos titled “Change My Mind,” Crowder debates guests on his online show over contentious political and social issues. The video in question was recorded on a college campus in February, where Crowder asked students to change his mind as to whether “Male Privilege is a Myth.”

YouTube informed Crowder on Tuesday, "We would like to give you an opportunity to remove or edit the private information within the content reported. You have 48 hours to take action on the complaint.” YouTube told Crowder that the complaint file will be closed if he complies. If, after 48 hours, the offending material is still on its website, YouTube informed him that the material may be “removed pursuant to our Privacy Guidelines.” 

A commentor on Reddit suggested that the person issuing the complaint to Twitter could possibly be a young man who appeared in the video wearing shorts and a white t-shirt. After an angry exchange with Crowder, he continued to harangue the crowd of students present. The time code cited on reddit for the offending segment is 3_26-21_04,0_00-0_23

Crowder responded on Tuesday, telling followers: "And now they're coming after 'Change My Mind.' YouTube is blatantly disregarding single party consent laws, simply to cater to angry SJW's who don't like that their arguments didn't hold up. This kind of crap sets a huuuuugely dangerous precedent.” SJW is an acronym for social justice warriors, who are frequently criticized by Crowder. 

In what is called “one-party consent,” Federal law permits recording telephone calls and in-person conversations with the consent of at least one of the parties. In addition to federal law, thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia have adopted "one-party consent" laws and permit individuals to record phone calls and conversations to which they are a party or when one party to the communication consents. However, eleven states require the consent of every party to a phone call or conversation in order to make the recording lawful. These states are: California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington. 

Because YouTube is a private entity, it can change its policy regarding use of the website at will. Therefore, YouTube can be stricter than the consent laws mentioned above.



Various social media platforms, including YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook have come under Congressional scrutiny over banning and perceived censorship of conservative and liberatarian commentators. For example, celebrity actor James Woods was locked out of his Twitter account because of a tweet he posted in July that the social media platform deemed a violation of company rules. Posted on July 20, the tweet included a hoax meme that claimed it originated among Democrats and which encouraged men not to vote in the midterm elections. The meme he posted included #LetWomenDecide and #NoMenMidterm. Woods acknowledged that the tweet was "not likely" real. "Pretty scary that there is a distinct possibility this could be real. Not likely, but in this day and age of absolute liberal insanity, it is at least possible ..." Woods wrote.

Last Thursday, Woods said he received an email from Twitter that claimed that the tweet "has the potential to be misleading in a way that could impact an election." Twitter added that he will again have access to the account only if he removed the tweet. However, Twitter told him that he will be suspended permanently if he offends again. On Sunday, he told AP: "Free speech is free speech — it's not Jack Dorsey's version of free speech," in a reference to Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey.

"The irony is, Twitter accused me of affecting the political process, when in fact, their banning of me is the truly egregious interference," Woods said. "Because now, having your voice smothered is much more disturbing than having your vocal chords slit. If you want to kill my free speech, man up and slit my throat with a knife, don't smother me with a pillow." He told the media that he believes that his free speech is being throttled.

Woods’ Twitter account remains online, but he cannot access it. An outspoken conservative, Woods has more than 1.7 million followers on Twitter. Claiming that he has been singled out by Twitter, he said that the original hoax tweet was reposted by his girlfriend and retweeted thousands of times since then. Twitter did not lock out his girlfriend from her account, which he said proves his claim.

Twitter and other social media have been pressured to censor so-called hate speech and posts that may influence elections. Conservatives have protested that have been disproportionately targeted over liberal groups, while pointing out that Twitter accounts associated with radical leftists and even terrorists remain online.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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