Sky News Australia's YouTube channel has been suspended for disinformation on Covid-19

Sky News Australia's YouTube channel has been suspended for disinformation on Covid-19

The platform has made it known that this is the first warning and that it will not tolerate content that denies the existence of the novel coronavirus or proposes remedies such as hydroxychloroquine

(photo: Olly Curtis / Future via Getty Images) YouTube has suspended Sky News Australia for seven days. The platform blocked the news channel from uploading new content for a week, claiming it violated the rules on spreading disinformation about Covid-19.

The Google-owned site has made it known in recent days that Sky News Australia has received a "strike", ie a "warning" for violation of the policies. Three warnings in a 90-day period will result in the permanent removal of the channel, according to the three-strike policy. YouTube did not mention specific elements but said it opposed material that "could cause harm in the real world."

Australian broadcaster owned by conservative billionaire Rupert Murdoch said in an editorial that the decision is a disturbing attack on freedom of thought and that YouTube was a political decision. Sky News Australia has 1.85 million subscribers to YouTube and this ban could impact Google's revenue stream.

A YouTube spokesperson said yesterday that the platform does not allow "content that denies the existence of the Covid-19 or encouraging people to use hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus ". He also added that the site "allows videos that have sufficient compensation context, which infringing videos have not provided."

YouTube has been following a very hard line towards covid-19 disinformation since last year, implementing ten different policies, according to CEO Susan Wojcicki. In the fall, YouTube also said it would remove videos that include misinformation about vaccines for the novel coronavirus.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro recently also underwent these guidelines who saw videos removed on July 15 published on his channel and spreading disinformation about the pandemic and the Covid remedies.

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Coronavirus Sky YouTube globalData.fldTopic = "Coronavirus, Sky, YouTube"

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