One America News Network has been suspended from YouTube for spreading misinformation about COVID-19.
The conservative news channel can no longer post new videos or monetize their existing videos. Ivy Choi, a representative from YouTube, reports that they had violated YouTube’s policies of misinformation about the pandemic that forbids users from claiming they know of a guaranteed cure.
She continues to explain that the platform has designed these new policies to ensure no misinformation is disseminated about the virus.
The policies include banning any content that claims the virus does not exist or goes against instructions provided by healthcare professionals and authorities. As per the new policies, any independent medical advice or treatment without supporting evidence could dissuade people from receiving medical treatment for the virus, which is going to be deadly for them.
According to YouTube, an account guilty of violating these policies will be given a warning once for propagating false information and will be suspended from the platform permanently if it exceeds three strikes. As the strikes increase, the account is penalized even further. The account is prevented from making money from their videos as well.
The news outlet had already received a warning for spreading misinformation. YouTube has been extra vigilant in preventing misinformation about the pandemic since February.
They have manually assessed and taken down over 200,000 videos that have been guilty of disseminating false and harmful information about the virus.
One of the most prominent videos was one by a conservative media outlet Breitbart that included people pretending to be health professionals falsely claiming that people do not need to wear masks. The doctors also stated that hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and Zithromax were the cures for the virus.
YouTube further explains that OANN is only temporarily suspended from posting new videos; however, they cannot earn money from their content permanently until they rectify their issues.
A letter was also recently sent by a few Democratic senators to the CEO of YouTube, insisting that the platform should also strictly monitor and remove election misinformation.
Donald Trump has cut ties with Fox News and is now encouraging his supporters to listen to reporters on Newsmax and OANN. Both outlets are right-wing aligned and support Trump and his voter fraud allegations without evidence.
However, YouTube has dismissed OANN as an authentic news source, which means it will not show up at the top in search results and will not be included in recommended videos.