Sen. Rand Paul Leaving YouTube After Violating Its Covid-19 Misinformation Policy
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has said he will no longer post videos on YouTube. He said that he made this decision as a result of the platform’s response to some of his content, which it said violated its policies.
In August and September, Paul received two strikes from the platform due to videos that it claimed violated its policy against Covid-19 misinformation. Paul’s account was suspended for one week following each strike. According to YouTube’s policy, three strikes within 90 days will result in the permanent termination of a user’s account.
Paul accused the platform of censorship. He said that he is making an “exodus from Big Tech,” and includes YouTube in that which he will quit.
Paul’s announcement comes at a time when more and more Republicans have accused platforms of unfairly censoring their voices. However, no evidence suggests systemic anti-Republican bias. Rather, those who face punishment were in violation of the platform’s stated policies, including the prohibition of misinformation or the inclusion of hate speech.
This week, the personal Twitter account of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) was permanently banned after she repeatedly violated Twitter’s Covid-19 misinformation policy. Last year, former President Donald Trump was permanently banned from Twitter and various other platforms after he encouraged the violent insurrection on the U.S. Capitol.
On Monday, Paul published an op-ed he had written, in which he urged others to follow his lead in stepping away from these platforms. He encouraged those who disagree with the social media websites’ policies to boycott the sites.
“About half of the public leans right,” he wrote. “If we all took our messaging to outlets of free exchange, we could cripple Big Tech in a heartbeat. So, today I take my first step toward denying my content to Big Tech. Hopefully, other liberty lovers will follow,”
Paul said that while he will curtail the content he posts on YouTube, he will not stop entirely. Rather, he plans to post only criticism of YouTube on the site. He will also largely post his usual content, instead of on YouTube, on the video site Rumble. Rumble has become popular among Republicans like Paul, who have fled other platforms.
In December, Rumble became affiliated with Trump’s media company, Trump Media & Technology Group.