Sky News Australia suspended and handed a strike from YouTube

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Sky News Australia has been suspended from uploading content to YouTube for a week after the video and livestreaming platform claimed the media organisation breached its COVID-19 misinformation standards.

In a statement issued to Nine newspapers this afternoon, a YouTube spokesperson said the website had taken steps against Sky, including removing videos from the media outlet’s online channel and issuing a “strike” against it, causing it to be temporarily suspended from uploading content.

Sky News Australia has been temporarily banned from uploading content onto YouTube.Credit:Peter Braig

“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,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement.

“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.”

YouTube has not said what videos published by Sky it removed, but the platform doesn’t allow content 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.”

The one-week suspension by YouTube follows a review of content for compliance with YouTube’s policies on COVID-19 which are subject to change in response to changes to global or local health authority guidance on the virus.

A Sky News Australia spokesperson said it acknowledges YouTube’s right to enforce its policies and looks forward to continuing to publish its news and analysis content back to its 1.85 million YouTube subscribers shortly.

“We support broad discussion and debate on a wide range of topics and perspectives which is vital to any democracy,” the spokesperson said.

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

The spokesperson said Sky News expressly rejects that any host has ever denied the existence of COVID-19, and no such videos were ever published or removed.

More to come.

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