The suspension won’t dramatically damage Sky’s Australian revenue. It’s still rare for YouTube to take that kind of action against a major media network, though. The move also sends a signal — large outlets can’t count on their size to shield them against YouTube crackdowns. The TV network has come under fire for its stance on COVID-19, particularly from host Alan Jones. He falsely claimed the SARS-CoV-2 virus was “not a pandemic” in 2020, and in July incorrectly maintained that the virus’ Delta variant was neither dangerous nor affected by vaccines. An uproar over those last statements prompted Sky to make a formal apology on July 19th, removing the relevant video at the same time.
Sky said it found older videos that broke YouTube’s rules, but rejected claims that any of its hosts denied COVID-19’s existence. The broadcaster’s digital editor alleged that YouTube was threatening free thought, although YouTube is notably focusing on demonstrable facts, not opinions.
The News Highlights
- YouTube suspends Sky News Australia uploads through COVID-19 disinformation
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