Videos hosted by Alan Jones, Rowan Dean and Rita Panahi are among those that have been removed from the Sky News Australia YouTube channel amid its week-long ban for allegedly spreading COVID-19 misinformation.
Both Sky News Australia and YouTube have so far refused to detail the videos that were removed when the ban was imposed, but The Guardian Australia has managed to uncover at least six of the videos that were deleted.
Titles included: Systemic discouragement of Hydroxychloroquine is a ‘national scandal’ and ‘No doubt in my mind Hydroxychloroquine is very effective’ against COVID-19: Clive Palmer and Leftist media ‘willing to have lives lost’ as a result of hatred for Trump, among others.
Neither YouTube or Sky News were saying which videos were pulled but I figured out a very manual workaround by going through their playlists, finding videos deleted by YouTube for breaking rules and then looking up those videos on archive dot org.https://t.co/pfHwHNes3m pic.twitter.com/PAoyw0ZXGs
— Josh Taylor (@joshgnosis) August 2, 2021
Five of the six videos that The Guardian Australia found were from the Outsiders programme, which is hosted by Dean and Panahi.
The Guardian Australia also found at least five videos that were deleted were promoting either hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin as effective treatments for COVID-19, despite the fact that neither have been approved.
One of which was a video in which Alan Jones interviewed Clive Palmer after he purchased nearly 33 million doses of hydroxychloroquine for Australians.
Interestingly, this video is still readily available to watch on News Corp-owned sites like Adelaide Now at the time of publishing.
here's a snippet of one of the Sky News clips YouTube axed for promoting hydroxychloroquine as a COVID prevention method. pic.twitter.com/jVeB66NNHy
— Lav Baj (@lavosaurus) August 3, 2021
In a statement following the ban, YouTube specified that it doesn’t “allow content that denies the existence of Covid-19 or that encourages people to use hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus.”
“We have clear and established COVID-19 medical misinformation policies based on local and global health authority guidance, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 misinformation,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement provided to Gizmodo Australia.
“We apply our policies equally for everyone regardless of uploader and, in accordance with these policies and our long-standing strikes system, removed videos from and issued a strike to Sky News Australia’s channel.”
It’s unclear exactly how many videos were deleted as part of the ban, and The Guardian Australia hasn’t asserted that its list is exhaustive, but it paints a pretty clear picture of the kind of content that has since been removed.
Following the YouTube ban, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) confirmed that it had received 23 complaints about Sky News’ coverage of COVID-19 and is “monitoring Sky’s response to ongoing community concerns about its coverage.” However, no formal action has been taken by the ACMA yet.
“Digital platforms such as YouTube are not currently subject to the same co-regulatory arrangements as Australia’s traditional broadcast media. In this case YouTube has made its decision to suspend Sky News according to its own policies for its platform. The ACMA is not aware of the content on which YouTube based its decision,” the spokesman told the SMH.
Gizmodo Australia has reached out to Sky News for comment.