In a letter to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, Senator Ron Johnson demanded answers on the platform’s COVID-19 moderation policies because of repeated censorship of a sitting senator.
“YouTube has displayed a troubling track record of censoring a sitting United States Senator, the proceedings of the United States Senate, journalists that interview me, and the display of data that is entirely generated from U.S. government health agencies,” Johnson wrote.
We obtained a copy of the letter for you here.
The Wisconsin Republican and ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee asked YouTube to provide the committee with documents “concerning the development and implementation” of its COVID-19 content moderation policies.
The letter highlights several cases, starting in October 2021, where YouTube censored content or suspended the senator.
Johnson also noted that YouTube is not fair in applying its moderation policies, something that was highlighted when the platform’s chief product officer Neal Mohan testified before the Senate on September 14.
“I read the following two quotes that President Biden said on July 21, 2021. The first was, ‘You’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations.’ The second was, ‘If you’re vaccinated, you’re not going to be hospitalized, you’re not going to be in an ICU unit, and you’re not going to die,’” the senator recounts in his letter.
“There is no doubt that these two statements are false. I asked Mr. Mohan and the witnesses from the other social media companies whether your companies ever flagged President Biden as a spreader of misinformation. No one even attempted to answer my question.”
The letter demands external and internal communications related to each incident where he was censored.