YouTube Quietly Updates COVID-19 Misinfo Policy That Banned Claims Of Mask Inefficiency
One of the biggest arguments against big tech censorship is its ability to change rules, guidelines, and polices on a whim without reason and accountability.
Most notably, when those changes have to do with COVID-19 and politics.
Journalist and podcaster Tim Pool called out a recent change by YouTube regarding masks, which quickly garnered a lot of attention online because the policy update now allows users to call out the inefficiency of mask wearing.
A claim that would have had users banned or silenced just a few days ago.
“Youtube updated its policies to no longer ban claims that masks do not play a role in preventing spread of COVID,” Pool said on Twitter. “Essentially, you are now allowed to claim masks don’t work.”
See the before and after screenshots below:
Youtube updated its policies to no longer ban claims that masks do not play a role in preventing spread of COVID
Essentially, you are now allowed to claim masks don't work pic.twitter.com/SI3wF9jov8
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) August 23, 2022
Fighting against COVID-19 “misinformation” has become a calling for big tech giants – especially YouTube – in recent years.
As they have said that any critics of CDC guidance are misinforming platform users. Even if other sources support their claims.
Per the screenshots supplied by Pool, YouTube’s COVID-19 medical misinformation policy banned content on its platform that included “[c]laims that masks do not play a role in preventing the contraction or transmission of COVID-19.”
It also banned “[c]laims that wearing a mask is dangerous or causes negative physical health effects.”
Those sections have since been removed quietly.
Many prominent conservative voices have been banned or suspended from YouTube for allegedly violating YouTube’s policy. Including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Senator Rand Paul.
Other YouTubers, or individuals who have relied heavily on income from the platform, felt the need to self-censor themselves – especially during live streams – to avoid losing their channel because of alleged “misinformation.”
Now that this policy has been changed, YouTube critics are curious to know what changed to prompt this quiet alteration.
And what will be done for the creators that lost out on earning potential for saying things that are no longer deemed misleading or false.
Some conservative voices have already taken matters into their own hands over the past year by switching to alternative platforms such as Rumble and Odysee.
It will be interesting to see who makes a return to YouTube amid this change versus who doubles down on building their ecosystems on parallel economy infrastructure.
This YouTube policy change could be too little too late.
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