YouTube suspends Sky News Australia channel owing to Covid-19 misinformation

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
YouTube has a 'three strikes' policy on violations.
YouTube has a 'three strikes' policy on violations.
Unsplashed

YouTube said Sunday it had barred Sky News Australia from uploading new content for one week, citing concerns about Covid-19 misinformation.

The move comes after a review of posts uploaded by the Rupert Murdoch-owned TV channel, which has a substantial online presence.

"We have clear and established Covid-19 medical misinformation policies... to prevent the spread of Covid-19 misinformation that could cause real-world harm," a YouTube statement said.

With 1.86 million YouTube subscribers, the channel - which is owned by a subsidiary of Murdoch's News Corp - has a conservative following well beyond Australia.

Its posts, including some questioning whether there is a pandemic and the efficacy of vaccines, are widely shared on social media forums around the world that spread virus and vaccine misinformation.

The last YouTube upload, from three days ago, features a host claiming that lockdowns have failed and criticising state authorities for extending Sydney's current stay-at-home orders.

Sky News confirmed the temporary ban and a spokesperson said "we support broad discussion and debate on a wide range of topics and perspectives which is vital to any democracy".

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

YouTube has a "three strikes" policy on violations, with the first resulting in a one-week suspension, a second strike within 90 days producing a two-week ban, while a third means permanent removal from the platform.

Former US president Donald Trump was temporarily banned under the policy.

YouTube is owned by Google parent company Alphabet.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
14.63
-0.2%
Rand - Pound
20.18
-0.2%
Rand - Euro
17.21
-0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.68
-0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.1%
Gold
1,751.55
-0.1%
Silver
22.63
-1.2%
Palladium
2,013.50
-1.0%
Platinum
953.00
+1.8%
Brent Crude
75.67
+0.3%
Top 40
57,038
-0.1%
All Share
63,317
+0.0%
Resource 10
57,580
-2.1%
Industrial 25
81,347
+1.2%
Financial 15
14,026
+0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
What potential restrictions on unvaccinated South Africans may make the biggest difference to public health, the economy?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Limited access to restaurants and bars
9% - 41 votes
Limited access to shopping centres
18% - 78 votes
Limited access to live events, including sport matches and festivals
27% - 121 votes
Workplace vaccine mandates
46% - 202 votes
Vote