Dr. Knut M. Wittkowski, the former head of biostatistics, epidemiology, and research design at Rockefeller University has been censored by YouTube. A widely popular video that had received over 1.3 million views on the original and had received even more in re-uploads has now been deleted.
Wittkowski has been one of the foremost critics of the actions that are being taken to fight the coronavirus and believes that social distancing only prolongs the lifetime of a virus and has also criticized the lockdowns, saying that they’re not necessary.
While YouTube has said that it favors authoritative sources on the platform, YouTube has also said that it will remove any content that goes against the word of the controversial World Health Organization – which has recently been defunded by the US government for its handling and alleged coverup of the outbreak.
Wittkowski has two doctorate degrees in both medical biometry and computer science and is a big proponent of heard immunity.
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“With all respiratory diseases, the only thing that stops the disease is herd immunity. About 80% of the people need to have had contact with the virus, and the majority of them won’t even have recognized that they were infected,” Wittkowski said, in the video before it was deleted by YouTube.
While many people – experts included – have different ideas about the origin of the virus, and the legitimacy of the response to it, YouTube is increasingly under fire for being the arbiter of what’s allowed to be discussed and for significantly narrowing the window of conversation.
YouTube this week demonetized channels SGTreport, TRUreporting, Tin Foil Hat with Sam Tripoli, Realist News, and more in an effort to starve the channels of revenue and discourage growth.
YouTube has, since the outbreak, deleted videos from prominent critics and skeptics of the details about the coronavirus (even scientist Dr Judy Mikovits whose book this week became a bestseller) and the way civil liberties are being eroded in its wake.
Wittkowski’s perspective is one that is increasingly the opinion of a growing section of the population and is the official perspective of the Swedish government’s response to the pandemic – but also one that’s not allowed on YouTube. And as YouTube is the most dominant platform in online video, they have a massive ability to steer public conversation and perception.
While not everyone agrees with the perspective of Wittkowski, does it mean no one should be allowed to hear it? Should only one side of a discussion be allowed in public conversation?