YouTube reportedly suspended Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson for one week after he posted a video about COVID-19.
“We removed the video in accordance with our COVID-19 medical misinformation policies, which don’t allow content that encourages people to use Hydroxychloroquine or Ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement, according to NBC News.
The suspension fell under YouTube’s “COVID-19 medical misinformation policy.”
Johnson told The Federalist, “It always baffled me that there was such a concerted effort to deny the American public the type of robust exploration research into early treatment early in this pandemic,” noting that “both Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin” are considered safe treatments for the disease.
It’s no longer former President Donald Trump taking a beating from YouTube and other social media providers. Senators, religious leaders and a wide variety or almost universally conservative Americans continue to find themselves banned from social media.
The question is why social media providers continue to target conservatives? Shouldn’t social media be non-partisan? While that would ideally be the case, the evidence reveals some much different.
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other providers seem to go out of their way to suspend and ban information related to criticizing COVID-19, speaking about the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots, questioning the 2020 election and other controversial issues.
However, when it comes to issues of importance to conservatives, such as pro-life issues, support for Israel or the Second Amendment, the response is silence.
For a time, free speech social network Parler offered a new home for conservatives. However, even it was shut down after Jan. 6, as Amazon web servers and Apple’s app store collaborated to shut down the service. It has since returned, but has yet to reach its previous level of reach.
The trend continues to highlight the dominance and control of social media in American political issues. No longer content to control mainstream media television, the left has now found ways to sway tech toward its worldview. Just as conservatives were eventually forced to start their own outlets to offer alternatives on talk radio and television news, social media will likely forge a similar path.
The harm in this case is that social platforms like Facebook and Twitter offer an enormous platform that a conservative alternative will take time to compete with, if the option is even possible. Further, the app stores and search engines, especially Google, may play a limiting role regarding who can see the new outlets even when they do exist.
Many are already in the making. From Gab and Parler to YouTube-alternative Rumble, conservatives are making inroads toward other options. Many conservative blogs are now as likely to post to Rumble or directly email market messages rather than continue to fight Twitter for access and reach.
In Johnson’s case, we’re facing a current senator who is blocked on a top media outlet. There is no reason for this to continue. Hopefully his situation will lead to future change, though it’s anyone’s guess where social media censorship will lead in the days ahead.