Ron Johnson: YouTube suspends Republican senator for seven days over Covid misinformation

YouTube has removed a video and suspended Republican US Senator Ron Johnson from posting for seven days after violating the platform’s Covid-19 misinformation policies.

The senator promoted use of the drugs hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin to treat Covid-19, despite the platform’s policy that prohibits “content that promotes prevention methods that contradict local health authorities” or the World Health Organization.

“YouTube’s arrogant Covid censorship continues,” he said on Friday. “How many lives will be lost as a result? How many lives could have been saved with a free exchange of medical ideas? This suppression of speech should concern every American.”

His suspension marks the latest episode in his ongoing feud with social media platforms that the senator and other right-wing figures have alleged are waging a censorship campaign against them. In February, he wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal ( “YouTube Cancels the US Senate”), raging against YouTube’s removal of two videos from a US Senate committee discussing Covid-19 that are publicly available on C-SPAN and elsewhere.

The senator has also been accused of laundering far-right conspiracy theories, propaganda and other disinformation during the pandemic, surrounding the events of the insurrection at the Capitol on 6 January, and the 2020 presidential election.

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