In a decision that is literally making headlines worldwide, YouTube has suspended Alan Jones, host on Sky News Australia. Thanks to Jones’ videos, the Google-controlled site has blocked Sky News from uploading new content for the past week.
In a statement, YouTube attributed the ban to Alan Jones’ advocacy for the discredited use of anti-parasitic medicines as treatments for Covid-19. “Specifically, we don’t allow content that denies the existence of Covid-19 or that encourages people to use hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus,” said a YouTube spokesperson.
Sky News responded that they “expressly reject” that any Sky News program or host has ever denied the existence of Covid-19, “as implied by YouTube.”
Jones himself has been a long-time Covid-19 conspiracist. “Big Government, Big Pharma, and Big Tech, they’re all in this together,” said Jones last year.
During the Victorian outbreak, Jones repeatedly called on Dan Andrews to resign for implementing the life-saving lock-downs in Melbourne. “This has never been a pandemic,” said Jones. “We need a national advertising campaign to tell the public the truth about the fact that this virus is not a pandemic.”
His videos have had global impact. One, which quoted US data on all deaths in persons who had been vaccinated ever since Covid vaccinations began and called them “vaccine deaths” went viral among far-right Covid conspiracists on social media.
It is not clear if there were advanced warnings given to Sky. According to an investigation reported in The Guardian, many of the videos taken down by YouTube dated from 2020. One video was an interview of Clive Palmer by Jones, when the billionaire miner announced his purchase of over 30 million doses of ivermectin for Australia.
News Corporation has called the move “a disturbing assault on freedom of thought” and, unsurprisingly, Chris Kenny dubbed it “cancel culture writ large.”
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