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YouTube suspends One America News Network for breaking rules on COVID content

YouTube's name and logo are displayed on a person's laptop computer.
A person is seen using a laptop showing Youtube’s logo.
(Ozan Kose / AFP/Getty Images)

YouTube is temporarily banning One America News Network for breaking rules about COVID-19 claims, shutting out the right-wing cable outlet from the world’s largest video site for a week.

“After careful review, we removed a video from OANN and issued a strike on the channel for violating our COVID-19 misinformation policy, which prohibits content claiming there’s a guaranteed cure,” Ivy Choi, a YouTube spokeswoman, said in a statement. After a channel receives three strikes, YouTube terminates it altogether.

YouTube, part of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, is also suspending advertisements from the network for violating other unspecified policies.

One America News, or OAN, is a favorite of President Trump andthe network’s online audience rose this month after some Trump allies turned against Fox News, the conservative cable standard-bearer. Several OAN clips on YouTube falsely told viewers that Trump won the Nov. 3 presidential election. YouTube removed ads on some of those clips, citing rules against “undermining trust in the electoral process.” But the company kept the footage up, an approach now facing criticism in Congress.

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YouTube says it does not consider OAN one of the authoritative news sources it surfaces to viewers. The network had more than 8 million views on YouTube the week of Nov. 9-13, more than its viewership in all of October, according to the analytics firm SocialBlade.

In March, YouTube prohibited videos that promoted medically unsubstantiated advice about the coronavirus. Axios earlier reported YouTube’s decision about OAN.


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