YouTube will suspend OANN for violating Covid-19 policies

YouTube on Tuesday suspended the right-wing One America News Network for a week after posting a video that contained corona virus misinformation.

YouTube has removed this video for violating our policy prohibiting the posting of corona virus misinformation. One, published by the One America News Network or OANN, contained claims of a guaranteed cure for the disease.

The suspension means that OANN will not be able to post new content for a week and will block it from the YouTube Partner Program indefinitely, which means the network will no longer be able to monetize its existing content. OANN may re-apply to the YouTube Partner Program and be re-admitted if it resolves issues leading to the suspension. The network did not respond to the comment request.

“Since the age of this pandemic, we’ve been working to prevent the spread of harmful Covid-19-related misinformation on YouTube,” said Ivy Choi, a YouTube spokesman. “Due to repeated violations of our Covid-19 Misrepresentation Policy and other channels’ monetization policies, we have suspended the channel from the YouTube Partner Program and, as a result, monetized YouTube.”

The move follows criticism from YouTube and other social sites that sites like OANN may have spread false information about the coronavirus and the election.

The one-week suspension is part of a three-step system that YouTube uses to track inaccurate information and control accounts that violate its policies. The first violation usually results in a warning, which is then followed by three strikes. This is the first strike OANN has received, but because it has previously violated YouTube’s policies, future violations will result in additional warnings and non-warnings.

In addition to misleading or inaccurate coronavirus misinformation, OANN is one of YouTube’s most productive publishers on false allegations surrounding the election, most notably that President Donald Trump was re-elected. Trump praised OANN for this reporting.

OANN has 1.2 million subscribers on YouTube, but the video platform owned by Google does not consider it a credible news source. This means that the search results related to Covid-19 will not be high in content and will not be highlighted in the recommendations.

YouTube says it has reviewed and removed 200,000 videos since February for deceiving Covid-19 content.