Youtube The account of News Corp-owned UK national radio station Talkradio has been controversially banned, including News and Current Affairs.
The station revealed yesterday that its channel had been removed from YouTube, but said it had not been given an explanation for the suspension.
The decision to suspend the account of a high profile national broadcaster is related to its policies on COVID-19 misinformation. Reuters The report notes that some of its presenters are critical of government measures to target the spread of coronovirus excessively or ill.
However, the tech giant’s decision to ban a tech broadcaster was sharply criticized by Cabinet Minister Michael Gove, who went on talkradio yesterday to defend his right to ask questions about the government’s policy.
The ban was also interrupted by the intervention of News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch. I newspaper, Which reports that Murdoch accused the Google-owned service of setting “dangerous precedents” and “censorship of free speech and legitimate national debate”.
Confirming this in a statement today, TalkRadio’s account has been reinstated, a YouTube spokesperson told us:
TalkRadio’s YouTube channel was briefly suspended, but upon further review, has now been reinstated. We quickly remove flagged content that violates us Community Guidelines, Containing COVID-19 material that clearly contradicts the expert consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organization. We make exceptions for content posted with an educational, documentary, scientific or artistic purpose, as was understood in this case.
It is unclear what kind of exception YouTube is enforcing in the case of Talkradio to reinstate the station – given opinionated radios can receive all categories based on specific content.
Is per I am, TalkRadio received earlier attacks in October and December for YouTube policy violations. The third strike that led to the (brief) suspension is believed to be related to an interview between one of its hosts, Julia Hartley-Brewer, and former National Education Association President, Amanda Martin, Should teachers be given the highest priority for COIDID? -19 vaccines.
TalkRadio is just the latest in a long-running saga of moderation decisions, with the tech-tying moderation decisions overturned by restrictions just for freedom of expression – even the stuff the platform chooses to leave is often no less controversial Can. (Although concerns about public health risks from spreading coronovirus misinformation and being amplified online have led to additional losses in the platform moderation business in general.)
The common thread of concern is powerful, private entities – which are not regulated in the same way (UK) broadcasters – have to continue their hands on the ‘acceptable speech’ lever.
However, change is coming in Britain: the government is working on a legislative proposal that will bring in big technology Ofcom Regulatory umbrella. (And as TalkRadio states in its earlier statement that its output is already regulated by tocom.)
Online security bill, Which is to be placed before Parliament this year, will propose a ‘duty of care’ for technical platforms to protect users from a range of illegal and harmful content.
Compliance of platforms under COM’s plan will be monitored and will have the power to prevent non-compliant digital services from being accessed, as well as the ability to levy heavy fines for violations.