YouTube has terminated the streaming channel of talkRADIO, on the grounds of breaching it’s Covid-19 content guidelines.
The talkRADIO YouTube channel was a popular outlet for the radio network, with thousands of subscribers and many millions of views.
The station’s output was streamed live as well as YouTube serving as an archive of past shows.
talkRADIO’s output has become increasingly critical of the UK government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, and the lockdowns that it has imposed.
In particular, high profile presenters including Julia Hartley-Brewer and Mike Graham have been specifically vocal in their opposition to lockdowns.
YouTube have not commented any further on talkRADIO’s ban, other than a note on the radio station’s former account which states: “This account has been terminated for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.”
YouTube’s Covid-19 guidelines are extensive and explicit, including a warning to channel owners that on the subject, it operates a “three strikes” policy, leading to the presumption that talkRADIO had been warned previously by the video giant.
YouTube’s policy states that; “YouTube doesn’t allow content about COVID-19 that poses a serious risk of egregious harm.
“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 is limited to content that contradicts WHO or local health authorities’ guidance on: Treatment, Prevention, Diagnostic and/or Transmission.”
In a statement, talkRADIO said; “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 added; “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.”
talkRADIO Second Statement
talkRADIO added in a second statement, released at 7pm, that added; “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.”