Senator Ron Johnson booted from YouTube after violating medical misinformation policy

Senator Ron Johnson booted from YouTube after violating medical misinformation policy
Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin speaking at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, Gage Skidmore
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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has been temporarily suspended from YouTube after violating the platform's policy on medical misinformation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The suspension came after Johnson reportedly posted a controversial video riddled with misinformation about COVID-19.

According to Axios, Johnson shared footage of a recent virtual event he attended. During the event, which was hosted by the Milwaukee Press Club, Johnson discussed the COVID-19 pandemic and expressed support for the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin — an anti-parasite drug — both of which have been considered controversial and insufficient for treating COVID-19.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also highlighted one point during the virtual conference, which took place on June 3, where Johnson leveled criticism at both the Biden and Trump administrations for "not only ignoring but working against robust research [on] the use of cheap, generic drugs to be repurposed for early treatment of Covid."

Although Johnson attempted to raise awareness about the virtual event, YouTube quickly intervened and removed the footage. The publication notes that Johnson's video was in violation of the video-sharing website's policy prohibiting the circulation of medical misinformation.

"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," YouTube's COVID-19 medical misinformation policy reads.

As a penalty for posting the video, Johnson is now under a 7-day YouTube suspension and prohibited from uploading videos during that time. Shortly after reports began circulating about his suspension, Johnson pushed back.

Speaking to Fox News, he said, "YouTube's ongoing COVID censorship proves they have accumulated too much unaccountable power," adding, "Big Tech and mainstream media believe they are smarter than medical doctors who have devoted their lives to science and use their skills to save lives."

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