Australia Sky News suspended from YouTube for a week over Covid-19 disinformation – .

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Australia Sky News suspended from YouTube for a week over Covid-19 disinformation – .



According to Google (GOOGL)-owned platform, the broadcaster received a “strike” last Thursday, which prevents it from posting videos or live broadcasts for a week. Three strikes over a 90-day period would result in the permanent removal of the canal.

A YouTube spokesperson did not disclose which Sky News Australia videos violated its policies, but said in a statement on Monday that “we do not allow content that denies the existence of Covid-19 or that encourages people to use hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus.”

YouTube “allows videos that have sufficient compensatory context, which non-compliant videos did not provide,” the representative added.

Sky News Australia retaliated in a statement on Monday, saying it “expressly rejects that a host has ever denied the existence of Covid-19 as was implied, and that none of these videos have ever been released or deleted ”.
A spokesperson for the broadcaster added that “we take seriously our commitment to meet editorial and community expectations.”

Sky News Australia is run by a subsidiary of News Corp Australia, owned by billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch. The channel, known for its conservative commentators, has 1.86 million subscribers on YouTube.

On Sunday, the outlet posted an article online from its digital publisher, Jack Houghton, which argued the move was “a disturbing attack on the ability to think freely.”

In the article, he claimed YouTube’s decision to suspend the network was “for posting op-ed content that the tech giant disagrees with.”

“Among the videos deemed unpleasant for societal consumption were debates over the effectiveness of masks and the rationale for blockages given their adverse health effects,” Houghton wrote.

“It’s hard not to view some of these tech giant censorship decisions as being based on just one factor, the political persuasion of the person making the comments. “

Australia recently suffered a series of strict lockdowns to tackle the spread of the coronavirus. As recently as last week, home stay restrictions in Sydney were extended by four weeks over concerns over the highly transmissible Delta variant. The intensity of the measures sparked a lively public debate.

Australia's largest city heading towards hard two-week lockdown to contain Delta coronavirus outbreak

YouTube, for its part, maintains its policies are in place to “prevent the spread of disinformation about Covid-19 that could cause harm in the real world.”

“We apply our policies the same for everyone, regardless of the downloader,” the spokesperson said.

Social networks have been under pressure to curb false claims about the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

Last fall, YouTube said it would remove videos containing disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines, while CEO Susan Wojcicki told CNN’s Poppy Harlow that the platform had worked to adopt “a line really tough ”on the subject.

“We have put in place over 10 different policies on Covid,” she said in an interview last October.

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