Rand Paul suspended one week by YouTube over COVID-19 mask claims

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has been suspended from YouTube for a week over a video claiming that masks are ineffective against COVID-19.

In a statement to The Hill, a YouTube spokesperson said the platform “removed content from Senator Paul’s channel for including claims that masks are ineffective in preventing the contraction or transmission of COVID-19, in accordance with our COVID-19 medical misinformation policies.”

“This resulted in a first strike on the channel, which means it can’t upload content for a week, per our longstanding three strikes policy. 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 added.

If there is another policy violation during the 90-day period, Paul’s channel will receive a second strike, and he will not be able to upload for two weeks.

Paul said in a statement that “this kind of censorship is very dangerous, incredibly anti-free speech, and truly anti-progress of science, which involves skepticism and argumentation to arrive at the truth.”

“As a libertarian leaning Senator, I think private companies have the right to ban me if they want to, so in this case I’ll just channel that frustration into ensuring the public knows YouTube is acting as an arm of government and censoring their users for contradicting the government,” Paul added.

The move comes a week after YouTube removed a video of Paul being interviewed by a Newsmax journalist on wearing masks during the pandemic.

YouTube said at the time that it removed the video for falsely claiming that masks were ineffective against COVID-19.

But the video that led to the suspension was Paul’s response to the YouTube removing the earlier video, his office said.

In that second video, Paul claimed that two different studies showed that surgical masks and cloth masks didn’t protect against the coronavirus.

Paul made his response video available on Rumble.

Earlier this week, Twitter took similar action against Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), suspending her for seven days after she tweeted that vaccines are “failing.”

Updated at 10:15 a.m.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Marjorie Taylor Greene Masks misinformation Pandemic Rand Paul Social media Twitter YouTube

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