Not satisfied with censoring recent content around coronavirus uploaded by independent creators, YouTube is going through the back catalogs of their videos and removing them.
Anna Brees, formerly of BBC and ITV, said on Twitter that her YouTube channel with 75,000 subscribers had been deleted and that the reason was an interview she did with Dr. Heiko Schoning during an anti-Covid lockdown protest in London in late September.
Heiko Schoning is a German physician who formed the COVID-19 Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee (ACU) back in May, and is a member of the World Doctors Alliance (WDA) gathering independent doctors and other healthcare professionals skeptical of the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
My children were so proud that I’d made it as a YouTuber. They told all their friends I was the coolest mum around!
So how did they react when I told them I’d been deleted on Christmas Day.. pic.twitter.com/lMSwGJ6OmU
— Anna Brees (@BreesAnna) December 26, 2020
The note Brees got from YouTube is the standard one saying that the video – without explaining how exactly – violated YouTube’s content policy rules. These state YouTube won’t let anybody dispute the stance of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Covid lockdown measures, or those coming from national (“local”) level accepting WHO as their supreme authority.
And while WHO has issued nothing more than a guidance (therefore not a legal obligation), YouTube continues to quote this almost like a law (as it would an actual law dealing with terrorism, etc) and use it as an excuse to censor content.
The incident demonstrates how YouTube today acts in two destructive ways: firstly as an anti-science platform, actively killing the fundamental scientific principle of debate, exchange of ideas, and above all, skepticism; and secondly, by making life very hard for independent creators like Brees, who are trying to build their journalistic careers in the new media, away from corporate overseers.
If there’s one clear takeaway here, though, it’s that new media require new platforms: YouTube, regardless of the allure of its massive reach, has proven time and time again that native and independent talent is low on its agenda and ultimately unlikely to succeed there.