YouTube have suspended Sen. Rand Paul’s account on Tuesday for posting a video claiming cloth face masks are ineffective against COVID-19.
“A badge of honor … leftwing cretins at YouTube banning me for 7 days for a video that quotes 2 peer reviewed articles saying cloth masks don’t work,” Paul (R-KY) tweeted. Rand Paul stated in the now removed video, “Most of the masks you get over the counter don’t work. They don’t prevent infection,” adding that “cloth masks don’t work.”
In a statement to The Hill, a YouTube spokesperson said the platform “removed content from Senator Paul’s channel for including claims that masks are ineffective in preventing the contraction or transmission of COVID-19, in accordance with our COVID-19 medical misinformation policies.”
“This resulted in a first strike on the channel, which means it can’t upload content for a week, per our longstanding three strikes policy. We apply our policies consistently across the platform, regardless of speaker or political views, and we make exceptions for videos that have additional context such as countervailing views from local health authorities,” the spokesperson added.
If there is another policy violation during the 90-day period, Paul’s channel will receive a second strike, and he will not be able to upload for two weeks. Paul said in a statement that “this kind of censorship is very dangerous, incredibly anti-free speech, and truly anti-progress of science, which involves skepticism and argumentation to arrive at the truth.”
“As a libertarian leaning Senator, I think private companies have the right to ban me if they want to, so in this case I’ll just channel that frustration into ensuring the public knows YouTube is acting as an arm of government and censoring their users for contradicting the government,” Paul added.