YouTube banned Sky News Australia from uploading new content on July 29, after expressing serious concern about the broadcaster’s COVID-19 (Chinese Communist Party virus) coverage.
The Sky News Australia YouTube channel, which has 1.85 million subscribers will be suspended for one week. The media company will be unable to publish new videos or livestreams throughout this time.
YouTube accuses Sky News of violating so-called medical disinformation policies. The broadcaster allegedly posted multiple videos, which question the existence of COVID-19 and encourage patients to try hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin.
“Specifically, 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 said in a statement obtained by The Guardian.
However, Sky News completely dismissed the allegations. BL understands the social media giant has not specified which videos contain the offending content.
“[The broadcaster] expressly rejects that any host has ever denied the existence of COVID-19 as was implied, and no such videos were ever published or removed,” the media outlet said in a statement.
The network acknowledged YouTube has a right to enforce its own policies and “looks forward” to publishing its “popular news and analysis content” again after the suspension ends.
“We support broad discussion and debate on a wide range of topics and perspectives, which is vital to any democracy,” a Sky News representative said. “We take our commitment to meeting editorial and community expectations seriously.”
YouTube violations are subject to a so-called “three strikes” policy. The first strike results in a one-week suspension, a second strike within 90 days leads to a two-week ban, and third results in permanent removal from the platform.
Former President Donald Trump was temporarily banned due to the same policy.