Rupert Murdoch’s radio station talkRADIO has been banned from YouTube, following alleged breaches of its community guidelines.
talkRADIO’s main base of listeners is online, with their YouTube channel having 250K subscribers and tens of thousands of views per video. This had been used to stream its popular live videos and archive old shows.
YouTube has not commented on the situation, simply stating that the account was “terminated for violating YouTube’s community guidelines”.
According to YouTube’s guidelines on Covid-19 content: “YouTube doesn’t allow content that spreads medical misinformation that contradicts local health authorities’ or the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) medical information about COVID-19.”
This includes bans on:
- Content that promotes diagnostic methods that contradict local health authorities or the WHO;
- Content that discourages people from consulting a medical professional or seeking medical advice;
- Content that disputes the efficacy of local health authorities’ or WHO’s guidance on physical distancing or self-isolation measures to reduce transmission of COVID-19.
In response, TalkRadio has released the following statement:
“talkRADIO YouTube has removed talkRADIO’s channel from its platform. talkRADIO broadcasts specific programmes and a live stream from its studio on its YouTube channel. talkRADIO also broadcasts on DAB and is Ofcom regulated.
A spokesperson for talkRADIO said: “We urgently await a detailed response from Google/YouTube about the nature of the breach that has led to our channel being removed from its platform.
“talkRADIO is an Ofcom licensed and regulated broadcaster and has robust editorial controls in place, taking care to balance debate. We regularly interrogate government data and we have controls in place, use verifiable sources and give space to a careful selection of voices and opinions.”
Although many are outraged by the news, comedian and TRIGGERnometry host Konstantin Kisin said he was not surprised, stating that: in his opinion: “Today is the day we can all be 100% certain that free speech is over.”
However, he also stated that talkRADIO had the power and lawyers to fight the Google-owned company to restore their channel.
The comedian hypothesised that less extreme further measures would be taken to reduce the viewability of talkRADIO’s videos on the platform.
I am sure thatTalkRadio will get their YouTube channel reinstated. They have the lawyers, the connections and the money. I will be delighted for them when it happens.
However, it doesn't matter. Today is the day we can all be 100% certain that free speech is over. Here's why:
— Konstantin Kisin (@KonstantinKisin) January 5, 2021