TalkRadio’s YouTube channel has been reinstated after the Google-owned platform temporarily took down the radio brand’s videos for violating its guidelines for Covid-19 content.
News UK had claimed YouTube removed TalkRadio ‘s video channel in the early hours of Tuesday morning without explanation. Viewers trying to access TalkRadio’s page reported seeing the error message: “This account has been terminated for violating YouTube’s community guidelines.”
YouTube confirmed to Campaign yesterday evening that the TalkRadio channel was “briefly” suspended but reinstated after further review.
“We quickly remove flagged content that violates our Community Guidelines, including Covid-19 content that explicitly contradicts expert consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organisation,” a YouTube spokeswoman said.
“We make exceptions for material posted with an educational, documentary, scientific or artistic purpose, as was deemed in this case.”
YouTube has a “three strikes” policy under which it reserves the right as a private media company to ban content providers from the platform for breaches.
The company did not specify which particular videos had prompted YouTube to remove TalkRadio’s channel.
In September, Friday drivetime presenter Mark Dolan went viral for protesting against the wearing of face masks by cutting one up live on air. While Dolan is a comedian by profession, public health experts routinely say face masks should be worn at all times in public spaces indoors to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
TalkRadio is licensed by Ofcom in the UK and the regulator has not made any rulings against the radio brand over alleged Covid-19 misinformation.
The channel, which livestreams and repurposes radio content from talkRadio, the flagship Wireless radio brand, has about 250,000 subscribers and had garnered millions of YouTube views in recent years.
Typically, broadcasters and major YouTube creators have a revenue-share deal with Google for any pre-roll or other types of ads that are served against their content.
While TalkRadio’s channel was offline, a spokesman said yesterday: “We urgently await a detailed response from Google/YouTube about the nature of the breach that has led to our channel being removed from its platform.
“TalkRadio is an Ofcom-licensed and regulated broadcaster and has robust editorial controls in place, taking care to balance debate.
“We regularly interrogate government data and we have controls in place, use verifiable sources and give space to a careful selection of voices and opinions.”
TalkRadio is part of Wireless Group, the radio company that also owns TalkSport. News UK, the publisher of The Sun and The Times, bought Wireless Group in 2016.