Sky News Australia Was Suspended From YouTube For COVID-19 Misinformation & It’s About Fkn Time

Sky News

Sky News Australia, which has the most social media views on their videos out of *any* news outlet in Australia, has just been suspended from YouTube for breaching the site’s COVID-19 policies. What a surprise.

The News Corp-owned broadcaster, which has 1.85 million subscribers, was suspended for a week over “a review of content for compliance with YouTube’s policies on COVID-19,” according to a statement from Sky News Australia.

The ban was implemented on Thursday afternoon, the day after the Daily Telegraph ditched Alan Jones’ regular column after his controversial (read: fucked) comments on COVID, included calling NSW health officer Kerry Chant a village idiot on his Sky News program.

YouTube didn’t specify which videos caused the ban, but said there were “numerous” offending videos that they’ve removed.

“We have clear and established Covid-19 medical misinformation policies based on local and global health authority guidance, to prevent the spread of Covid-19 misinformation that could cause real-world harm,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement.

“We apply our policies equally for everyone regardless of uploader, and in accordance with these policies and our long-standing strikes 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 context, which the violative videos did not provide.”

It’s important to note YouTube responded to media requests mentioning its “denial of COVID-19” policies, but it later dropped that reference in other statements.

Sky News Australia has rejected that any their hosts has denied that COVID-19 exists, and said that no videos denying COVID-19’s existence were ever published or removed.

It seems the videos in question were older ones, which makes sense considering Sky News uploaded a video in September, 2020 titled ‘Australians must know the truth – this virus is not a pandemic – Alan Jones’.

The video, which has 4.6 million views, downplayed the virus when it had killed millions of people worldwide, including 800 Australians at the time.

And that’s not the only time the news site has made sensational and misleading statements in their videos.

Sky News Australia previously published a video implying voter fraud among the Democrats in the 2020 Presidential Elections, which Facebook’s third party fact-checker Politifact said contained ‘partly false information‘.

And then of course, there’s the infamous interview of former White House adviser and Trump campaign manager Steve Bannon, who made controversial claims about Hunter Biden that went unchallenged by Sky News Australia host Sharri Markson.

Mind you, at the time of the interview, Bannon was awaiting trial for fraud charges, and was accused of trying to spread misinformation about the US election and COVID-19. He’d also been suspended from Twitter and had videos deleted off YouTube for saying he’d like to see the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director’s head on a stick. Fucken yikes.

“We support broad discussion and debate on a wide range of topics and perspectives which is vital to any democracy,” A Sky News Australia spokesperson said regarding the YouTube suspension.

“We take our commitment to meeting editorial and community expectations seriously.”

Hmm. Not seriously enough, it seems.