‘Anytime you push against the grain, you are going to have people who don’t like it…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) YouTube‘s brazen attempt to remove a viral video questioning leftist dogma about the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic backfired after conservative media outlets exposed the censorship.
Last week, two California doctors who have been working on the state’s front lines in its fight against virus the urged U.S. government officials to reopen the country.
The two physicians, Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi of Accelerated Urgent Care in Bakersfield, Calif., said in an interview with KERO-TV that, based on their experiences, the coronavirus is not as dangerous as the public has been led to believe.
COVID-19 and the seasonal flu are “similar in their prevalence and death rates,” Erickson said.
“Do we need to still shelter in place? Our answer is emphatically no,” Erickson said. “Do we need businesses to be shut down? Emphatically no. Do we need to test them and get them back to work? Absolutely.”
The video of the press briefing gained more than 5.46 million views in just a few days.
Then, YouTube removed the video for allegedly violating the platform’s “Terms of Service.”
— Daniel Horowitz (@RMConservative) April 28, 2020
The video (embedded above; backup available here) was restored on Wednesday afternoon and was available for viewing at press time.
When asked why YouTube censored the video, a spokesperson for the company, Ivy Choi, said in a statement that the video included content that “explicitly disputes the efficacy of local health authority recommended guidance on social distancing that may lead others to act against that guidance.”
YouTube rolled out this policy toward the beginning of the pandemic and has continued to defend it.
Anything that is “medically unsubstantiated, like … take vitamin C, you know, take turmeric,” and anything that goes “against World Health Organization recommendations” will be taken down, YouTube CEO Susa Wojcicki said last week on CNN.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcocki says users are using the platform during the coronavirus crisis.
It started with basic information but now users “want to know about life under quarantine… like exercise at home. How do I fix my freezer? How do I give myself a haircut.” pic.twitter.com/p8jxTUBRte
— Reliable Sources (@ReliableSources) April 19, 2020
Erickson said he isn’t surprised that YouTube censored his comments.
“Anytime you push against the grain, you are going to have people who don’t like it,” he told KERO-TV in a follow-up interview.
Liberty Headlines’ Ben Sellers contributed to this report.