Chemist and YouTuber Thunderf00t has slammed YouTube after it took down the latest video in his popular “BUSTED” video series where he debunks claims made by others.
In the video, Thunderf00t responded to Ohio State Rep. Nino Vitale’s claims that a “test shows oxygen levels drop into the danger zone five seconds after putting a mask on” and performed his own tests to debunk Vitale’s claims.
Thunderf00t said YouTube support told him the video had been flagged by YouTube’s automated systems and that upon review, they had confirmed that it violates YouTube’s community guidelines.
Thunderf00t added that he appealed the decision and YouTube support said they’d look at his video again but so far, he’s not heard back from them.
Thunderf00t didn’t mention which community guidelines his video violated but presumably, his discussion of masks was flagged as coronavirus misinformation by YouTube’s automated systems.
“It kind of bugs me actually,” Thunderf00t said in response to his video being taken down. “People who brand themselves as news organizations seem to be able get away with anything, right, with just reporting it. They have no scientific expertise whatsoever.”
YouTube has stated several times that the mainstream media get preferential treatment on the site, especially when it comes to covering the coronavirus.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has admitted that mainstream media coverage influences when coronavirus videos get reinstated and suggested that even content from doctors is subject to this standard.
Something that adds another layer to this situation is that Vitale’s video has since been taken down by YouTube for violating community guidelines which means that videos covering both sides of the discussion on masks and oxygen levels, one video claiming that they do deplete oxygen levels and one video claiming that they don’t, have now been deemed to violate YouTube’s rules.
YouTube’s Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan has admitted that YouTube assumes “there’s going to be some context that’s provided around the question of masks” when news organizations cover the topic and as a result, their videos about masks get boosted.
Meanwhile, Mohan says that YouTube creators “espousing their opinions about a mask, you know, in their basement” will have their videos removed or their views reduced because “the same level of authority hasn’t been established.”