A Silicon Valley company banned a Republican from Kentucky for a week, because he questioned how effectively face masks prevent coronavirus (COVID-19) on Aug. 10.
YouTube removed Sen. Rand Paul’s video and temporarily blocked him from uploading new content.
“They are now banning all my speech, including speech that is given on the Senate floor, which is protected constitutional[ly,]” he said in the video according to the Washington Examiner. “YouTube now thinks they are smart enough and godly enough that they can oversee speech, even constitutionally protected speech.”
The qualified ophthalmologist shared different medical opinions about how effectively covering the nose and mouth contains the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Saying cloth masks work when they do not actually risks lives, as someone may choose to care for a loved one with COVID while only wearing a cloth mask,” he can be heard saying. “This is not only bad advice but also potentially deadly misinformation.”
“Most of the masks you get over the counter do not work, they do not prevent infection,” he added. “Trying to shape human behavior is not the same as following the actual science, which tells us that cloth masks does not work.”
He openly disagreed with presidential chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci about what research was U.S. federally funded at China’s Wuhan facility. He also raised suspicion about the deadly disease’s origins.
YouTube accused the congressman’s three-minute video of violating company policy on pandemic misinformation.
“Claims that masks do not play a role in preventing the contraction or transmission of COVID [are prohibited,]” the policy wording said.
The company claimed the rule applies to everyone, even if the user in question is a government leader with certain political views.
“We apply our policies consistently across the platform, regardless of speaker or political views, and we make exceptions for videos that have additional context such as countervailing views from local health authorities,” a YouTube representative said in a statement obtained by the New York Times.
Although YouTube is a private enterprise that can lawfully to ban users, the Republican believes the business acted as an “arm of the government without any repercussions or push back.”
“It is really anti-free speech, anti-progress of science, which involves skepticism and argumentation to arrive at the truth,” he said in the video. “YouTube and Google, though, have become an entity so huge that they think they are the arbitrator of truth.”
Paul recommended other disenchanted users to use Rumble and other alternative social networking platforms instead.
“My hope is that maybe through competition, we will prove them to be wrong in their ways,” he can be heard saying.
This is not the first time YouTube was accused of limiting free speech. The company removed an eight-minute Newsmax interview in which the same senator claimed wearing masks has “no value.”