Sky News Australia Rumoured to Be Suspended on YouTube Over Breaching COVID Misinfo Policy

Sky News Australia has apparently not posted a video on its YouTube channel, which has some 1.85 million subscribers, for over two days, despite earlier releasing videos on a daily basis.

YouTube has suspended the Sky News Australia channel from its platform, blocking the media outlet’s ability to post videos, reportedly for violating a COVID-19 misinformation policy, social media users suggested on Saturday.

Speculation arose as the TV channel’s YouTube page has not posted any new videos for two days, but with the network continuing to post as usual on its Facebook account. Neither Sky News Australia nor YouTube has officially commented on the suspension allegations, and all of the previous content on the channel, which has some 1.85 million subscribers, remains accessible.

A reporter from New Daily Australia cited a statement from a YouTube spokesperson who confirmed that Sky News Australia had received a “strike” to its channel on the platform, as the social media company does not allow content that denies the existence of COVID-19 or promotes the use of certain drugs to treat the deadly pandemic.

“We apply our policies equally for everyone regardless of uploader, and in accordance with these policies and our long-standing strikes system, removed videos from and issued a strike to Sky News Australia’s channel”, the statement reads, cited by the reporter. “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”.

The purported suspension comes after the Sydney paper The Daily Telegraph said it would stop publishing columns by Alan Jones, reportedly suggesting that its anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown commentary was not resonating with readers.

Jones confirmed the cancellation of his column, denying, however, that it was not resonating, referring to his ratings on Facebook and Sky News Australia.

“If the argument has been it’s not resonating, I don’t have to defend myself”, Jones told The Sydney Morning Herald. “Have a look at Sky News YouTube, Sky News Facebook, and Alan Jones Facebook and you can see. The same column that I write for the Tele goes up on my Facebook page. The public can check it for themselves. Thirty-five years at top of the radio and I don’t resonate with the public? Honestly”.