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Sky News Australia has been banned from uploading new content for a week due to a violation of YouTube’s guidelines on the spread of Covid-19 misinformation.

Sky News Australia has been barred for repeatedly denying the existence of Covid-19 or encouraging people to use hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin.

Under its three-strike policy, it issued a “strike,” the last of which means permanent ban. YouTube did not name specific items, but stated that it does not support content that “may cause real-world harm.” The move, according to the TV station’s digital editor, is a “disturbing infringement on the capacity to think freely.”

Sky News Australia has 1.85 million YouTube subscribers and is owned by a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. The restriction may have an impact on the channels’ Google revenue stream. YouTube claimed to have “clear and established Covid-19 medical misinformation policy based on local and worldwide health authority recommendations,” according to a statement.

According to a spokesman, “content that rejects the existence of Covid-19” or encourages individuals to “take hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus” was not allowed. Both have yet to be shown effective against Covid. According to the spokeswoman, the videos in question “did not provide sufficient opposing context.”

Sky News Australia stated that it had discovered old videos that did not comply with YouTube’s regulations and that it was “committed to meet the editorial and community expectations seriously.” However, it denied that any of its hosts had ever rejected Covid-19’s existence.

In Australia, comments made by veteran Sky anchor Alan Jones have sparked criticism. The Sky News website issued an apology.

He stated Delta variant was not as harmful as the original and that immunizations would not help in a broadcast on July 12 with MP Craig Kelly. Jones’ performances, according to Sydney radio personality Ray Hadley, “enabled conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxers to gather sympathy from a minority who believe the virus is nothing more than a dose of flu.

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