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YouTube suspends download of Sky News Australia over COVID-19 misinformation

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YouTube is no stranger to a temporary media ban for spreading misinformation about COVID-19, but its latest crackdown could be its biggest so far. The keeper and BBC News The video service is said to have banned Sky News Australia from uploading new videos for a week due to allegations of spreading misinformation about COVID-19. Several Sky videos have been reported to violate rules denying the existence of the new coronavirus or claiming hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin are effective treatments.

The videos did not have “sufficient context of opposition” to indicate that the claims were false, YouTube reported. The keeper… YouTube warned that these videos could do “real harm.” This is just one “hit” on Sky – two more will lead to permanent blocking of the channel.

Sky said it found old videos that violate YouTube’s rules, but rejected claims that any of its hosts denied the existence of COVID-19. The broadcaster’s digital editor argued that YouTube threatens freedom of thought, although YouTube focuses on obvious facts rather than opinions.

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The network has been criticized for its stance on COVID-19, especially from host Alan Jones. He falsely claimed that the SARS-CoV-2 virus “was not a pandemic” in 2020, and in July mistakenly argued that the Delta variant was not dangerous or affected by vaccines. The buzz surrounding these latest announcements prompted Sky to issue an official apology on July 19, while simultaneously deleting the related video.

The suspension won’t hurt Sky’s Australian earnings much. However, YouTube still rarely takes such action against major media networks. The move is also a signal that large outlets cannot count on their size to protect them from YouTube harassment.

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