Don’t joke about Covid or else your videos might be removed.
YouTube said it removed a video uploaded by conservative commentator Steven Crowder for violating the platform’s coronavirus content policies.
The world’s largest video website, owned by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, took down the most recent episode of his show, Louder With Crowder, on Tuesday.
“This video violates our Covid-19 misinformation policy, which prohibits content claiming that the death rates of Covid-19 are less severe or equally as severe as the common cold or seasonal flu,” a YouTube spokesman wrote in a statement. “As a result, the video was removed from Steven Crowder’s channel.”
The discussion, which claimed it would uncover all the lies about Covid and the “liars who told them,” had amassed more than half a million views before it was pulled. Excerpts of the recording spread across the internet, with some viewers criticizing Crowder for sharing views about Black farmers that they found racist.
YouTube has tried to balance the need to police its site for harmful content with the desire to be a neutral platform for diverse perspectives across the political spectrum. The company has taken several actions against channels run by prominent right-wing figures this year. It banned former White House adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast in January and later suspended former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani for the second time in two months, citing his repeated false claims about election fraud and his promotion of the use of nicotine in his cigar ads.
YouTube said that Crowder’s video was flagged by its enforcement system when it was uploaded and blocked from running ads, so Crowder didn’t make money from it. The company has previously purged Crowder’s page of other videos that violated its policies and suspended him from its partner program for over a year before reinstating him. That program lets content creators monetize their channels by sharing ad revenue with YouTube.