YouTube Suspends Rand Paul's Account for COVID-19 Misinformation

Carolyn Crist

August 12, 2021

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

YouTube has suspended Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's account after he posted a video claiming that masks are ineffective in protecting against COVID-19, according to ABC News.

Paul won't be able to upload content on his account for one week. He's the second Republican lawmaker to be halted on social media for COVID-19 misinformation this week.

In the YouTube video, Paul said that "cloth masks don't work" and that most over-the-counter masks "don't prevent infection. YouTube said the video violated its policies against spreading COVID-19 medical misinformation.

"This resulted in a first strike on the channel, which means it can't upload content for a week, per our longstanding three strikes policy," a spokesperson for YouTube told ABC News.

"We apply our policies consistently across the platform, regardless of speaker or political views, and we make exception for videos that have additional context such as countervailing views from local health authorities," the spokesperson said.

On Tuesday, Paul called the suspension a "badge of honor" and sent out a press release about it.

"I think this kind of censorship is very dangerous, incredibly anti-free speech, and truly anti-progress of science, which involves skepticism and argumentation to arrive at the truth," he wrote in the press release.

At the same time, Paul said that "private companies have the right to ban" users and that he'll "channel that frustration" on other platforms.

Also this week, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was suspended from Twitter for one week for spreading COVID-19 misinformation. She posted on Monday that vaccines were "failing" and not reducing the spread of the coronavirus.

"The account will be in read-only mode for a week due to repeated violations of the Twitter Rules," a spokesperson for Twitter told ABC News.

Sources

ABC News: "YouTube suspends Rand Paul's account for COVID-19 mask misinformation."

Rand Paul: "Dr. Rand Paul Blasts YouTube for Continued Censorship."

ABC News: "Twitter temporarily suspends Marjorie Taylor Greene's account."

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