YouTube suspends, demonetizes Trump’s favourite TV news network over COVID-19 misinformation

President Trump’s favourite television news network has gotten itself in trouble on YouTube.

No, I’m not talking about Fox News. That would’ve been his favourite before the election. I’m talking about the one that’s been pushing post-election misinformation about voter fraud and the election results: One America News Network (OANN).

According to , YouTube has stripped OANN’s channel of its monetization eligibility. With YouTube demonetizing the channel, OANN can no longer generate revenue from the ads placed on the video content it uploads to the platform. If it wants to monetize its videos again, it will have to reapply.

YouTube also hit OANN with a one-week suspension that blocks the company from uploading videos to its channel or starting livestreams. 

A YouTube spokesperson tells Axios that the company took action after OANN “uploaded a video promoting a phony cure for COVID-19.” This is YouTube’s first strike against the OANN channel. Three strikes would result in permanent deletion of the account.

YouTube has long been for allowing misinformation and conspiracy theories to proliferate on its platform. For example, instead of deleting content, YouTube has opted to just most of the conspiratorial videos from its recommendation algorithm. Last month, the company finally updated its policy to carve out exceptions for dangerous conspiracies and misinformation, which could lead to real-world harm. That type of content, which included a number of channels promoting the conspiracy, is now banned from YouTube.

YouTube has been a bit more proactive when it comes to COVID-19 misinformation. In April, the Google-owned platform content promoting “medically unsubstantiated methods to prevent the coronavirus in place of seeking medical treatment.” Last month, it the policy to explicitly include misinformation about coronavirus vaccines.

While YouTube has made progress when it comes to QAnon conspiracy theories and coronavirus falsehoods, misinformation surrounding the results of the 2020 presidential election is another story. Critics have YouTube for its lack of action against election misinformation.

OANN has risen to prominence and gained the highly sought after spot of being President Trump’s new favourite news network, one which he regularly shares clips of on Twitter, due to its promotion of election misinformation. 

Yet it took a video pushing lies about the coronavirus for YouTube to take action.

WATCH: How to recognize and avoid fake news

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