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Rand Paul gets suspended from YouTube for a week for anti-mask video

Paul is the second Republican this week to face a suspension for COVID-19 misinformation on social media.

 

Andrew Wyrich

Tech

Published Aug 11, 2021   Updated Aug 11, 2021, 1:48 pm CDT

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has been suspended from YouTube for a week after the company said one of his videos violated its coronavirus misinformation policy.

The Kentucky senator posted a video on his YouTube page where he claimed that masks were not effective in combating COVID-19, according to CNN.

A spokesperson for YouTube told the news outlet that the week-long suspension was Paul’s first strike. The company has a three-strike policy for accounts.

“We apply our policies consistently across the platform, regardless of speaker or political views, and we make exceptions for videos that have additional context such as countervailing views from local health authorities,” the spokesperson told CNN.

In the video, Paul says: “Most of the masks you get over the counter don’t work. They don’t prevent infection” and “Trying to shape human behavior isn’t the same as following the actual science, which tells us that cloth masks don’t work,” according to the New York Times.

YouTube’s COVID-19 policy bans content that “spreads medical misinformation that contradicts local health authorities’ or the World Health Organization’s (WHO) medical information about COVID-19,” including content about treatment, prevention, diagnosis, and transmission.

The company also notes that the policy includes videos that claim “masks do not play a role in preventing the contraction or transmission of COVID-19.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that mask-wearing does reduce new infections of COVID-19.

Paul criticized YouTube’s decision in a tweet on Tuesday night, calling YouTube “leftwing cretins.”

The Kentucky senator is the latest Republican to face a suspension this week for violating social media companies’ COVID-19 misinformation policies.

On Tuesday, Twitter announced that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) had her account placed in “read-only mode” for a week after she posted a tweet saying that COVID-19 vaccines were “failing” and didn’t reduce the spread of the virus.

Twitter put a label on Greene’s tweet, noting that it was “misleading.”


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*First Published: Aug 11, 2021, 9:30 am CDT