Google’s video platform YouTube has been accused of ending the popular UK TalkRADIO show by hosting figures skeptical of coronavirus lock-in just hours after the UK entered a new, stricter lock-in.
The official TalkRADIO channel – which had 250,000 subscribers – was deleted on Tuesday, and it is currently unknown why.
British political tabloid blog Guido Fawkes theorized that the channel had been deleted due to its history with broadcasts skeptical of coronavirus lock-in in government amid the pandemic.
YouTube’s removal of the channel came hours after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England would be put under an even stricter lockdown from Monday in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.
YouTube guidelines from last year threatens to ban any account that “disseminates medical error information contrary to local health authorities or the World Health Organization (WHO) medical information on COVID-19,” and “disputes the effectiveness of local health authorities or WHO guidelines on physical distancing or self-isolation.”
However, the reason for the removal of the channel has not been confirmed and TalkRADIO has not yet issued an official statement.
In response to the list of YouTube coronavirus rules that TalkRADIO may have violated, host Julia Hartley-Brewer stated, “No one on TalkRadio has said ANY of these things. We are simply challenging the evidence that lockdown is a proportionate response to the Covid virus. It is called freedom of speech.”
Guido mentions a number of reasons here why YouTube might be doing this. Nobody on TalkRadio has said ANY of these things. We are simply challenging the evidence that lockdowns are a proportionate response to the Covid virus. It’s called freedom of speech 🤷🏻♀️ https://t.co/HaHTlbHh5u
– Julia Hartley-Brewer (@ JuliaHB1) January 5, 2021
Journalist and author Peter Hitchens interrogated: “Are we free anymore if this kind of thing can happen?” while others called for the removal of YouTube “cooling,” “shocking, “ and “Dark days for media censorship. “
The deletion of @talkRADIO‘s YouTube channel – apparently because of his interviews with lockdown skeptics – is one of the most chilling examples of Big Tech censorship yet.
– Tom Slater (@Tom_Slater_) January 5, 2021
Several social media users pointed out that TalkRADIO complies with UK Ofcom rules, with Australian author Helen Dale commenting: “Everyone laughed when it was wing nuts like Alex Jones that were banned. Now we see it made into perfectly boring, Ofcom-regulated UK TalkRADIO. Who’s the next one?”
Everyone laughed when it was wing nuts like Alex Jones that were banned. Now we see it made into perfectly boring, Ofcom-regulated UK TalkRADIO. Who’s next? LBC? They are a bit “angular”. YouTube is a threat.
– Helen Dale (@_HelenDale) January 5, 2021
The “crime” from @talkRADIO seems to present fact that there is another way to lock & security damage it causes. They stick to the OFCOM broadcast code – YouTube censors them is frightening progression of the culture of annulment: why can society no longer respect and debate opinion?
Joe Michalczuk @joemichalczuk January 5, 2021
Civil Liberties Organization Big Brother Watch condemned the event as “an attack on freedom of expression”, which “must be overthrown,” and claimed it would bring the removal up during its next meeting with Google officials.
However, not everyone was against the removal of TalkRADIO’s channel.
Actress and anti-Brexit Liberal Democrat activist Emma Kennedy celebrated YouTube’s decision posting, “That’s what they deserve. @TalkRadio has become a sewer. I hope advertisers leave them in droves.”
YouTube has removed several viral videos under its coronavirus rules, right from the antivaccine “Plandemic” video alleging a conspiracy behind the Covid-19 pandemic for a video by California doctors against strict lockdowns.
Even before the pandemic, YouTube had gained a reputation for its harsh censorship and banned prominent but controversial users such as Infowars hosts Alex Jones, David Icke and even though an Egyptian anti-torture activist.
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