YouTube bars Sen. Johnson from uploading videos for a week

Overtime: Greta and Sen. Ron Johnson talk about the economic impacts of COVID-19
Overtime: Greta and Sen. Ron Johnson talk about the economic impacts of COVID-19
Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 1:48 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Senator Ron Johnson has been suspended from uploading videos onto YouTube for seven days.

“We removed the video in accordance with our COVID-19 medical misinformation policies, which don’t allow content that encourages people to use Hydroxychloroquine or Ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus,” a YouTube spokesperson told NBC15.

On Friday morning, he retweeted an editorial in The Federalist about the Wisconsin Republican’s suspension, adding “YouTube’s arrogant Covid censorship continues.”

The article, written by Senior Editor Mollie Hemingway, added that YouTube also removed a video posted by Johnson showing a speech by the senator in which he argued health officials in the Trump and Biden administrations had repeatedly ignored research into cheap and generic drugs to treat COVID-19.

In his tweet of Hemingway’s piece, Johnson went on to ask rhetorically, “(h)ow many lives will be lost as a result? How many lives could have been saved with a free exchange of medical ideas? This suppression of speech should concern every American.”

YouTube parent-company Google has detailed on its website the video sharing site’s COVID-19 medical misinformation policy. It details what the company considers misinformation regarding the virus and includes specific examples.

Among the list under “don’t post content on YouTube if it includes any of the following,” the company cites examples like avoiding saying there is a guaranteed cure or that home remedies, prayer, or ritual can be used to battle COVID-19.

It also includes specifically a ban on “(c)ontent that recommends use of Ivermectin or Hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19.”

NBC15 has reached out to both Johnson’s office for comment on the suspension and will update this story with any response.

clarification: Updated with a statement from YouTube.

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