YouTube Bans Sky News Australia for Seven Days Over Coronavirus Misinformation Videos

Sky News Australia’s YouTube channel has been issued a strike and temporarily suspended from uploading new videos or livestreams for one week. Three strikes in a 90-day period will result in a channel being permanently removed from YouTube. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Sky News Australia has been banned from uploading content to YouTube for seven days after violating its medical misinformation policies by posting numerous videos which denied the existence of Covid-19 or encouraged people to use hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin.

The ban was imposed by the digital giant on Thursday afternoon, the day after the Daily Telegraph ended Alan Jones’s regular column amid controversy about his Covid-19 commentary which included calling the New South Wales chief health officer Kerry Chant a village idiot on his Sky News program.

News Corp told Guardian Australia the ending of Jones’s column did not mean the company does not support the “compelling” broadcaster.

YouTube has not disclosed which Sky News program the videos were from but said there were “numerous” offending videos which have now been removed.

The Sky News Australia YouTube channel, which has 1.85m subscribers, has been issued a strike and is temporarily suspended from uploading new videos or livestreams for one week.

The ban will impact Sky News’s revenue stream from Google, which started after News Corp signed a historic multi-year partnership with Google in February under the media bargaining code.

The strike was revealed on the same day as Sky launched a new free-to-air channel Sky News Regional across regional Australia.

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SOURCE: The Guardian, Amanda Meade

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