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YouTube suspends SKY NEWS AUSTRALIA account

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The subscription TV news service has been banned over COVID-19 misinformation

Sky News has been banned from uploading to YouTube for 1 week (image – Sky News)

YouTube has confirmed it has banned Sky News Australia from uploading videos or streaming onto its platform for 7 days.

In a statement provided to 6 News Australia, who broke the story, the media giant says it does not allow content that denies the existence of COVID-19:

“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.

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.”

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According to YouTube’s policies:

  • YouTube doesn’t allow medical misinformation about COVID-19 that poses a serious risk of egregious harm in contradiction with local and global health authorities’ guidance about COVID-19 treatment, prevention, transmission, and social distancing. 
  • All of YouTube’s policies are applied consistently, regardless of the uploader. We remove content that violates our Community Guidelines and have a longstanding three strikes system.

Sky News Australia responded to the Youtube action by publishing a lengthy statement on its website. The broadcaster indicated it acknowledged YouTube’s right to enforce its own editorial policies with a spokesperson stating:

“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.”

However, the statement went on to confirm Sky News; “expressly rejects that any host has ever denied the existence of COVID-19 as was implied, and no such videos were ever published or removed.”

The ban on posting new content will have significant impacts on revenue streams, which is now connecting with people on the far right around the world.

Last month The Australian reported Sky News videos were viewed 95.6 million times on YouTube.

Sky News Australia chief executive Paul Whittaker told the publication a digital presence was an important part of his strategy:

“The big change in this business has been we’ve moved in a quite a deliberate strategic way from a linear broadcast business to a truly multimedia platform business,”

“What we are seeing ­increasingly is people coming to us across other platforms, the Foxtel audience is still strong – more than a quarter of our ­audience this survey find us in this traditional way but increasingly people are finding us across digital platforms.”

Sky’s COVID-19 editorials have come under increasing scrutiny recently, especially those of veteran broadcaster Alan Jones who has maintained COVID-19 is no more deadly than the flu.

His views even led to an extraordinary attack from former radio colleague Ray Hadley who has labelled Jones’ conduct as “scurrilous, contemptible and undignified”.

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Robert McKnight
Robert McKnighthttps://tvblackbox.com.au/robert-mcknight/
"Leading TV commentator" - The Daily Telegraph | "Known for his impeccable sources in the TV industry" - The Daily Mail | "Always first with the correct info" - Beau Ryan | Robert McKnight is a highly regarded Australian Television Producer having worked at SEVEN, NINE and TEN during his 25 years in the industry. Publicly he is most well-known for creating and producing STUDIO 10 but has worked on SUNRISE, THE MORNING SHOW plus other prime time productions in addition to creating award-winning news campaigns for both 7NEWS and 9NEWS. Currently, Rob is the host and producer of the TV BLACKBOX, MCKNIGHT TONIGHT and MONSTERS WHO MURDER podcast, and executive producer of AFTERNOONS WITH SOFIE FORMICA on radio station 4BC

Comments

14 COMMENTS

  1. You are a fascist. “Afraid to engage in discourse he is.” It seems to me that if a person is confident in their position, they would welcome debate. When all you have is hate, like the alt-left CNN, MSNBC, WaPo, NYT, NPR, etc., you squash disagreement because it’s your only option. If you had anything but empty, vapid positions, you would welcome debate. You don’t, so all you can do is attempt to shut down those that have another opinion. Yes, you are a fascist.

    • Dude you do know that fascist, by it’s meaning, is right wing (“Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism”)?

      It’s not “squashing disagreement” to simply say that science, studies, facts, proven numbers by millions of people, all say one thing, yet these other people (you included it appears) are yelling that it’s all fake because… they say so. That’s simply refusing to listen to idiots who think water isn’t wet because someone said something on youtube or facebook. It’s saying “you’re wrong, we already had this debate early last year and the proof is now overwhelming”.

    • There is a HUGE difference between intelligent, FACT BASED discussion and the promotion of patently false, well debunked, outright lies!
      It is especially egregious when those lies are potentially dangerous to people’s health!

  2. I’ve seen some of Alan Jones’ videos. Mostly full of unsubstantiated far right claims. Seems to me that it’s a fair call by YouTube.

  3. This is a fair call – I have occasionally stopped on sky news to see what they are saying and it is utter nonsense, just far right lies and spin. Alan Jones is a blight on Australia.

  4. I think the fact that you are banning certain content, only shows that you don’t trust the public to make up their own minds, or some of what is being said is true and you don’t want the truth getting out, it looks like your trying to hide something.

  5. Not allowed freedom of speech in Australia – if the media don’t agree block out the opinion of others – all the lies the political parties tell – and they are allowed to spruik their lies – do they get blocked out? not that i know of.
    Everyone in this country should be allowed to broadcast and tell their own opinions for citizens to make up their own minds – doesn’t matter how farcical the issue is – it is our right as a citizen of this country.
    You left media make me sick.
    Am i really living in Australia or some sicko commo country? this is the question – if not now – we will be sooner than later.
    no-one is a blight on this country – but then again only those who oppose right wing commentators seem to be.
    Daisy

    • You are a blithering idiot then!
      Alex Jones had admitted on multiple occasions that his opinions are often blatantly UNTRUE and he intentionally spreads disinformation!

  6. To Stevieray – you are the blithering idiot! it’s Alan Jones -not Alex Jones – proof read what you write next time.
    Daisy

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