It’s not the first time a Big Tech executive bragged about censoring speech online, and it likely won’t be the last. A YouTube executive testified at a Senate hearing yesterday that the platform had removed more than one million videos for so-called COVID-19 “misinformation.”
YouTube Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy Leslie Miller testified at an Oct. 26 U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation hearing that the Google-owned platform had removed over a million videos with alleged “COVID misinfo,” including over 130,000 videos on “Covid vaccine misinfo.” The hearing was titled, “Protecting Kids Online: Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) came back to a predominating theme for the left at recent Senate hearings, her call for more censorship, particularly of alleged COVID-19 “misinformation.” Klobuchar asked YouTube’s Miller, “I also, uh, just had a follow-up on your, uh, YouTube banning all vaccine misinformation, which I, uh, commended you for at the time. How much content have you removed related to this policy change since you banned all anti-vaccine misinformation?”
Miller was unable to answer immediately but soon found the requested information. “On COVID misinfo, we’ve removed over a million videos since we started rolling out COVID misinfo, uh, and over a 130,000 videos as it relates, uh, to COVID vaccine misinfo,” Miller testified of YouTube. “So it’s an area we’ve put a lot of resources behind to make sure our platform isn’t promoting or allowing this type of content.”
YouTube stated in August that it had removed more than 1 million videos “related to dangerous coronavirus information” since February 2020. For context, YouTube reportedly removed around “120,000 videos that either sexually exploited children or were otherwise explicit featuring minors during” approximately the same time period.
YouTube reportedly removed 15.9 million videos overall during the time period comprising the so-called COVID-19 “misinformation” removals. Alleged COVID-19 “misinformation” video removals thus made up six percent (6%) of YouTube’s removals overall. More videos of alleged COVID-19 vaccine “misinformation” (130,000) have reportedly been removed from YouTube recently than videos depicting child sexual exploitation or explicicity (120,000).
YouTube has repeatedly censored users for alleged COVID-19 “misinformation.” YouTube censored a Hoover Institute doctor for challenging the COVID-19 narrative in September 2020. YouTube also censored Senate hearing footage of two doctors testifying on COVID-19 in February. An interview of Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) was also removed from YouTube for so-called COVID-19 “misinformation.”
Conservatives are under attack. Contact YouTube here and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.