YouTube suspends Australian channel over ‘misinformation’

Published August 2, 2021
The move comes after a review of posts uploaded by the Rupert Murdoch-owned TV channel, which has a substantial online presence. — Reuters
The move comes after a review of posts uploaded by the Rupert Murdoch-owned TV channel, which has a substantial online presence. — Reuters

SYDNEY: YouTube said on Sunday it had barred Sky News Australia from uploading new content for one week, citing concerns about Covid-19 misinformation.

The move comes after a review of posts uploaded by the Rupert Murdoch-owned TV channel, which has a substantial online presence.

“We have clear and established Covid-19 medical misinformation policies to prevent the spread of Covid-19 misinformation that could cause real-world harm,” a YouTube statement said.

With 1.86 million YouTube subscribers, the channel — which is owned by a subsidiary of Murdoch’s News Corp — has a conservative following well beyond Australia.

Its posts, including some questioning whether there is a pandemic and the efficacy of vaccines, are widely shared on social media forums around the world that spread virus and vaccine misinformation.

The last YouTube upload, from three days ago, features a host claiming that lockdowns have failed and criticising state authorities for extending Sydney’s current stay-at-home orders.

Sky News confirmed the temporary ban and a spokesperson said “we support broad discussion and debate on a wide range of topics and perspectives which is vital to any democracy”.

Published in Dawn, August 2nd , 2021

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