YouTube has taken down a channel run by talkRadio, a British radio station owned by a subsidiary of News Corporation. The only information left on the page at time of publication is that talkRadio was “terminated for violating YouTube’s community guidelines.” BBC News says that the video-sharing service has yet to provide a detailed statement about the removal, but speculates that the channel specifically violated YouTube’s policies on misinformation.
In a tweet, talkRadio said that its channel hosts live-streams of radio broadcasts which, in the UK, are regulated by Ofcom, the country’s media regulator. It adds that the outlet has “robust editorial controls in place” and that it takes care to “balance debate.” Its reporting has, however, been critizied by independent fact checkers like FullFact.
The broadcaster hosts a number of prominent right-wing commentators, some of whom may have spoken out against measures to control COVID-19. One presenter went so far as to cut up a face mask live on air, saying that mask-wearing was “state-sponsored virtue signaling on a grand scale,” which attracted criticism from other broadcasters.
Given that talkRadio is owned by such a large media conglomerate, and broadcasts from the News UK headquarters, it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.
Update Jan 6th, 6:17am ET: The channel has now been reinstated, and The Independent reports that the “personal involvement” of News Corp. head Rupert Murdoch helped reverse the ban.