YouTube has temporarily suspended right-wing outlet One America News Network (OANN) for promoting a false COVID-19 cure. OANN’s channel will stay online, but it will be prevented from uploading new videos for a week, and it’s been removed from YouTube’s advertising partner program.
Axios reported the news today, and YouTube spokesperson Ivy Choi confirmed it to The Verge. “After careful review, we removed a video from OANN and issued a strike on the channel for violating our COVID-19 misinformation policy, which prohibits content claiming there’s a guaranteed cure,” Choi says. “Additionally, due to repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation policy and other channel monetization policies, we’ve suspended the channel from the YouTube Partner Program and as a result, its monetization on YouTube.”
OANN has repeatedly tested YouTube’s policies, most recently around the US presidential election. YouTube took a more hands-off approach to election misinformation than Facebook and Twitter, allowing a video where OANN falsely claimed President Donald Trump won the election. It defended its policy by emphasizing that it promotes “authoritative news organizations,” a category that YouTube says doesn’t include OANN. After its COVID-19 video, OANN will have to reapply for the partner program if it wants to monetize videos, and it will receive one strike under YouTube’s three-strikes policy for termination.