YouTube has suspended Sky News Australia’s account for breaching rules on spreading Covid-19 misinformation.
YouTube has issued a ‘strike’ under its three-strike policy, preventing Sky News Australia from uploading any new content for a week. A third strike results in permanent removal.
YouTube did not highlight specific items but said it opposed material that “could cause real-world harm”.
A YouTube spokesperson told the Guardian it “did not allow content that denies the existence of Covid-19” or which encouraged people “to use hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus”. Neither has been proven to be effective against Covid. The videos in question “did not provide sufficient countervailing context”, the spokesperson said.
Sky News Australia said it had found old videos that did not comply with YouTube’s policies and took its “commitment to meeting editorial and community expectations seriously”. But it denied any of its hosts had ever denied the existence of Covid-19.
The Sky News website has issued an apology.
Sky News Australia is owned by a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and has 1.85 million YouTube subscribers.