This morning, Google-owned YouTube deleted the Novara Media channel, supposedly without warning nor explanation. Despite obvious political differences between Guido and Novara, if that is true it is manifestly wrong for them to have been silenced by YouTube. As it was when TalkRadio’s channel was deleted back in January.
As Novara note, they are “among the top 50 most watched news and politics channels in the UK” and are already regulated by IMPRESS. Users trying to access the channel are told by YouTube:
“This account has been terminated due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy against spam, deceptive practices, and misleading content or other Terms of Service violations.”
Guido hopes it won’t be long before we see a rapid u-turn and the channel’s restoration emerges from YouTube HQ…
UPDATE: Gary, Novara’s video editor, has hopefully had a moment of realisation today:
It's not censorship when a private company decides to remove you from it's platform.— Gary McQuiggin (@ggaaarrryyyy) June 20, 2020
You don't have an inalienable right to a Twitter account.
Whether or not you agree with what we publish, it shouldn't be the whim of giant tech companies to delete us overnight with no explanation. https://t.co/DnBqzQrMLh— Gary McQuiggin (@ggaaarrryyyy) October 26, 2021
UPDATE: For our take on the freedom of speech implications of this takedown, watch our latest Guido Talks.
Google-owned YouTube in the early hours of this morning removed the TalkRADIO channel from its platform. YouTube had been where TalkRADIO streamed its live video content and kept an archive of old shows. The channel had accumulated tens of millions of views and 250,000 subscribers. YouTube has simply said the account was “terminated for violating YouTube’s community guidelines.”
The fact the termination came shortly after the UK Government announced a third lockdown is raising eyebrows. TalkRADIO has been exceptionally critical of lockdown policy.
YouTube’s Covid-19 guidelines instituted in May 2020 states that “YouTube doesn’t allow content that spreads medical misinformation that contradicts local health authorities’ or the World Health Organization’s (WHO) medical information about COVID-19.” This includes bans on:
If a channel violates policies such as this three times, it will be terminated. This appears to be what happened last night.
UPDATE: To be clear, Guido is not disputing that YouTube are within their rights, it is their property. Just questioning the wisdom given the platform’s dominance of the video space in the public square.
UPDATE: TalkRADIO has released a statement on the matter:
“talkRADIO YouTube has removed talkRADIO’s channel from its platform. talkRADIO broadcasts specific programmes and a live stream from its studio on its YouTube channel. talkRADIO also broadcasts on DAB and is Ofcom regulated.
A spokesperson for talkRADIO said: “We urgently await a detailed response from Google/YouTube about the nature of the breach that has led to our channel being removed from its platform.
“talkRADIO is an Ofcom licensed and regulated broadcaster and has robust editorial controls in place, taking care to balance debate. We regularly interrogate government data and we have controls in place, use verifiable sources and give space to a careful selection of voices and opinions.”
UPDATE: TalkRADIO has released a second statement:
“talkRADIO has not yet received any explanation about what aspect of the guidelines it is alleged that we have breached. The channel is still removed by Google / YouTube. A spokesman for talkRADIO said:
“YouTube is making decisions about which opinions the public are allowed to hear, even when they are sourced to responsible and regulated news providers.
“This sets a dangerous precedent and is censorship of free speech and legitimate national debate.”“
The French parliament has passed a ‘YouTube’ tax: a levy of 2% on advertising receipts of websites hosting videos, rising to 10% when those videos include adult material. News is exempted so the tax is going to hit the French digital economy rather than the media, the proposal seeks to raise revenue from the left’s pantomime baddies Google, Amazon and Facebook, as well as obvious targets like YouTube, Netflix and Vimeo. Remember when Project Fear told us Britain’s digital economy would pack up after Brexit and move to techno-chic European cities like Paris? Not when the French can always be relied on to push in-Seine policies like this…
If an MP had spent a whopping £7,000 of taxpayers’ money on top tech gear, “comms management” and social media training, you would expect to see some results. Ruth Cadbury billed the taxpayer for a Macbook Pro, an iPad Air 2 and an office full of new computers, as well as funnelling £2,575 to former Gordon Brown SpAd Caroline Badley to teach her, among other things, how to use social media. Your money well spent? After the social media splurge Ruth has a measly 680 Facebook followers, just 5,000 odd Twitter followers, and a grand total of zero YouTube subscribers. Is this taxpayer cash actually being spent on anything or is it just lining the pockets of a Labour crony?
Have you ever heard of SNP MP Anne McLaughlin? Guido hadn’t either. So it’s perhaps forgiveable that she’d want to boost her profile by claiming £1,800 on expenses for “Social Media Consultancy” as part of an attempt to build a “Social Media Strategy”. What’s less forgiveable is that, despite this taxpayer cash, her Twitter account has just a few thousand followers, her Facebook just a couple of thousand likes, and her YouTube channel – inactive for five years – has just six subscribers. Your money well spent.
Soapy hunk Johnny Mercer should have no problem getting social media followers. Those shower commercials should mean he has all the ingredients required for likes, follows, and re-tweets galore. Surprising then that this Tory totty has charged the taxpayer £2,500 on expenses for “professional services” on social media management. His Twitter following stands at a relatively modest 13,579 – fewer than many 2015 intake colleagues – and his Facebook page has a mere 3,708 likes. His YouTube channel has a paltry 33 subscribers and his last video had just three views. If Johnny wants to boost his following, selfies are probably a better approach…