Sky News has had its YouTube channel suspended for one week, following a review of the network’s COVID-19 coverage.
The suspension means the Sky News YouTube channel – which currently has over 1.85 million subscribers – will be unable to upload any videos for seven days, however, pre-existing content that was posted before Thursday and has not breached YouTube’s policies is still available to watch.
The News Corp-owned outlet confirmed the ban in a statement on Sunday.
“We support broad discussion and debate on a wide range of topics and perspectives which is vital to any democracy,” a company spokesperson said.
“We take our commitment to meeting editorial and community expectations seriously.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, YouTube has introduced a number of new policies to help limit the spread of misinformation relating to COVID-19.
“Our policies prohibit, for example, content that denies the existence of the coronavirus or encourages the use of home remedies in place of medical treatment,” YouTube has said.
“We also prohibit content that explicitly disputes the efficacy of global or local health authority advice regarding social distancing that may lead people to act against that guidance.”
According to ABC News, Sky News has rejected the notion that is has “ever denied the existence of COVID-19 as was implied, and no such videos were ever published or removed”.
The one-week suspension will serve as a ‘first strike’, with three strikes in 90 days resulting in the permanent deletion of the channel.
The decision by YouTube to limit Sky News’s content on YouTube comes after the Daily Telegraph announced it would no longer be publishing columns from Sky News commentator Alan Jones.
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