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YouTube Suspends OAN, a Trump Favorite, For Touting Covid Cure

Mark Bergen
·1 min read

(Bloomberg) -- YouTube is temporarily banning One America News Network for breaking rules about Covid-19 claims, shuttering the right-wing cable outlet on the world’s largest video site for a week.

“After careful review, we removed a video from OANN and issued a strike on the channel for violating our COVID-19 misinformation policy, which prohibits content claiming there’s a guaranteed cure,” Ivy Choi, a YouTube spokeswoman, said in a statement. After a channel receives three strikes, YouTube terminates it altogether.

YouTube, part of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, is also suspending advertisements from the network for violating other unspecified policies.

One America News, or OAN, is a favorite of U.S. President Donald Trump and its online audience rose this month after some Trump allies turned against Fox News, the conservative cable standard-bearer. Several OAN clips on YouTube falsely told viewers Trump won the Nov. 3 presidential election. YouTube removed ads on some of those clips, citing rules against “undermining trust in the electoral process.” But the company kept the footage up, an approach now facing criticism in Congress.

YouTube says it does not consider OAN one of the authoritative news sources it surfaces to viewers. The network had more than 8 million views on YouTube the week of Nov. 9-13, more than its viewership in all of October, according to the analytics firm SocialBlade.

In March, YouTube outlawed videos that promoted medically unsubstantiated advice about the coronavirus. Axios earlier reported YouTube’s decision about OAN.

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