News Corp Australia reporter Sharri Markson told Fox News in the United States that YouTube’s suspension of Sky News Australia for violating its policy of medical disinformation on Covid was “the most extreme nullification of human freedom. ‘imaginable expression’.
Markson, the Australian newspaper’s investigative editor and Sky News presenter, appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to talk about the seven-day YouTube ban on Sky News Australia. YouTube did not identify which videos violated the policy, but Sky had posted numerous videos challenging the severity of the disease and the need for lockdowns while promoting hydroxychlorquin or ivermectin.
âSky News, the entire news network in Australia, was censored by YouTube for an entire week for providing responsible and informed coverage to the Australian people,â Markson told Carlson. “This is the most extreme cancellation of free speech imaginable.”
Carlson agreed and said Australia was “turned into a Covid dictatorship” where just asking about masks could get you censored on the internet.
But a professor of politics and public policy at the University of Queensland, Katharine Gelber, said the right to free speech comes with certain responsibilities.
“This is not a cancellation of free speech,” Gelber said Wednesday. âThis is a wise exercise in balancing human rights and human responsibility at a time when this kind of misinformation can cause far-reaching and long-term damage.
âThose who speak the loudest and most often about free speech act as if, unlike any other human right on the face of the earth, it does not carry proportionate responsibilities. “
YouTube declined to detail the videos it deleted, but Guardian Australia discovered at least six videos – five of which promoted hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin as a treatment for Covid – which were removed after allegedly raping the policies of the tech giant.
The videos were produced by Alan Jones and Outsiders hosts Rowan Dean and Rita Panahi.
In a video, Panahi said that “the left-wing media’s contempt for Trump” meant he was “ready to lose lives” due to opposition to hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for Covid-19.
Sky’s digital editor, Jack Houghton, reported that videos that questioned the effectiveness of masks and locks were also targeted.
Markson said the broadcaster presented “responsible” information to the public while US President Joe Biden, White House chief medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci and the World Health Organization were the ” really guilty of disinformation “.
“[WHO] is the body guilty of extreme disinformation and yet it is on it that tech giants like YouTube rely for their advice when deciding to censor an entire news network, âshe said .
In May 2020, Markson appeared on Carlson to say she had a “bombshell file” which showed some of the world’s largest intelligence agencies were investigating whether the coronavirus was linked to a laboratory in Wuhan.
Sky News Australia, which has 1.86 million subscribers on YouTube, is still available on Foxtel, Facebook, streaming apps, online at skynews.com.au and on free regional TV where it has launched a new channel. Sunday.
Gelber said the limits on free speech are well recognized philosophically and legally.
“This is something the Conservatives once claimed to understand,” she said.
âThe reason a number of countries around the world have developed policies of medical disinformation and disinformation about Covid is that misinformation about Covid can cause considerable damage during an international pandemic.
âYouTube is a private organization and therefore can and has developed transparent policies regarding harmful content. There is a global outcry against harmful content on social media, to which social media companies are responding by developing community content and standards. “
Gelber rejected Sky News’ claims that they were broadcasting a legitimate debate.
âWe see different expert views disseminating on the proper way to approach Covid in our news every evening. Clearly that’s not it, âshe said.
Guardian Australia discovered that Sky News recently removed several videos, including Dean in September 2020, stating that ‘the jury was out on hydroxychloroquine – it saves lives’ and Jones stating that there had been ‘rowdy dishonesty’ around hydroxychloroquine and that Australians were denied access.
In another deleted video posted in September 2020, then Liberal MP Craig Kelly said “study after study shows that hydroxychloroquine, when given early, can reduce levels of [Covid] infections â.
A video featuring Andrew Bolt speaking to Australian gastroenterologist Professor Thomas Borody about the use of ivermectin in the treatment of Covid has also been withdrawn.
Guardian Australia has solicited comments from Sky News and YouTube on the recent removal of the videos.