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YouTube suspends One America News Network channel for violating COVID-19 misinformation policy

YouTube suspends OANN for misinformation
YouTube suspends OANN for posting COVID-19 misinformation 00:32

YouTube has suspended the One America News Network (OANN) channel for repeated violations of the video platform's policy on sharing COVID-19 misinformation, YouTube confirmed Tuesday. The channel has also been demonetized as a result of the suspension, YouTube added.

"Since early in this pandemic, we've worked to prevent the spread of harmful misinformation associated with COVID-19 on YouTube. 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," YouTube said in a statement. "Additionally, due to repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation policy and other channel monetization policies, we've suspended the channel from the YouTube Partner Program and as a result, its monetization on YouTube."

YouTube has a three-strikes policy before it removes an account. OANN's channel is still live, but the strike means it cannot upload new videos or start new live streams for a week. To make money off videos going forward, OANN will have to reapply to the YouTube Partner Program. Readmittance to the program will require the account to rectify any issues that led to the suspension.

OANN has recently become a favorite of President Donald Trump. The president has repeatedly promoted segments from the network promoting unfounded conspiracy theories about massive voter fraud and vote machine rigging in the presidential election.

YouTube does not have a policy prohibiting false claims about the election. The platform previously refused to take down an OANN video falsely claiming Mr. Trump had won the 2020 election. The video was uploaded the day after the election, before any official news source had made a projection. CBS News projected Joe Biden as the winner on November 7.

YouTube initially added a box below the video noting the election results were not final and included a link to a Google search on the vote counts. On November 7, YouTube updated the box to say that the Associated Press had declared Biden the winner of the election.

OANN made headlines earlier in the year when the White House Correspondents Association removed the network from the daily White House briefing rotation after one of the news outlet's employees twice attended briefings out of turn. The employee, Chanel Rion, continued to attend briefings as a guest of the White House. 

Stephen Gandel contributed reporting.

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