Sky News Australia banned from YouTube for seven days over Covid misinformation
Digital giant issues strike after channel posted videos denying the existence of disease and encouraging people to use discredited medication
The channel carries all the Sky After Dark commentators, including Andrew Bolt, Peta Credlin and Jones, as well as a new three-hour breakfast show.Videos that did not violate policies and were posted before Thursday are still online. Three strikes in the same 90-day period will result in a channel being permanently removed from YouTube.
“We have clear and establishedCovid-19 medical misinformation policiesbased on local and global health authority guidance, to prevent the spread of Covid-19 misinformation that could cause real-world harm,” a YouTube spokesperson told Guardian Australia.
“We apply our policies equally for everyone regardless of uploader, and in accordance with these policies and our long-standingstrikes system, removed videos from and issued a strike to Sky News Australia’s channel.“Specifically, we don’t allow content that denies the existence of Covid-19 or that encourages people to use hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus. We do allow for videos that have sufficient countervailing headtopics.com
.”YouTube’s decisive action is in stark contrast to the response from local media regulators.Neither the Australian Communications and Media Authority nor the subscription television body, Astra, took any action when informed of Jones’s Covid broadcast on Monday.
“The Acma is aware of the broadcasts and various concerns raised about them,” a spokesman told Guardian Australia. “At this stage we will wait to see how complaints are handled by the broadcaster under the co-regulatory system.”Sky News Australia said it “expressly rejects” claims that any hosts ever denied the existence of Covid-19 and that “no such videos were ever published or removed”.
The broadcaster said “a review of old videos published to the channel” had uncovered material that did not comply with YouTube’s policies.“We support broad discussion and debate on a wide range of topics and perspectives which is vital to any democracy,”
.“We take our commitment to meeting editorial and community expectations seriously.”Sky’s YouTube channel has grown in two years from 70,000 subscribers to 1.85m, which is higher than ABC News or any other local media company.One of the most popular videos, with 4.6m views, is Jones’s “Australians must know the truth – this virus is not a pandemic”, which was posted at the height of the pandemic last year. headtopics.com
On 19 July, Sky News was forced to apologise for a Jones interview with MP Craig Kelly in which they claimed the Delta variant is not dangerous and vaccines won’t help you. The video was removed and a lengthy apology was published on the Sky News website.
YouTube is an important platform for Sky News and the more extreme the video, the more popular it is.Earlier this week after he was dumped by the Daily Telegraph, Jones, 80, pointed to his success on the platform.“Have a look at Sky News YouTube, Sky News Facebook and Alan Jones Facebook and you can see,” Jones told his viewers. “The same column that I write for the Tele goes up on my Facebook page.
“The public can check it for themselves. Thirty-five years at top of the radio – and I don’t resonate with the public? Honestly.” Read more: The Guardian »
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i was thinking abt how it is funny that aus is the only like 'western' country that's also kind of tropical (i don't think about new zealand) They should be banned full stop, their videos come up on my Youtube feed from time to time, every one a cesspit. blbbirds Wow. No wonder there is so much vaccine hesitancy in Aus. Take-up rates very low, but also shortage of supplies.
Who voted for YouTube to be the guardians of freedom of expression - maybe the people’s representatives should ban YouTube for 7 days. What's the relationship between sky news Australia and sky news UK? Wait, YouTube is now the final bastion of truth? Jesus Christ, we are fucked. Good to know YouTube is on the ball
Sky is limitless Murdoch.
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