Why is YouTube censoring scientists?
YouTube has removed a video of epidemiologist and lockdown critic Knut Wittkowski.
Social-media censorship has gone into overdrive since the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic.
YouTube has been particularly censorious. Last month its CEO said the platform would remove ‘anything that is medically unsubstantiated’ or that ‘goes against WHO [World Health Organisation] recommendations’. As a result, YouTube is now censoring not just misinformation or conspiracy theorists, but also respectable scientists who are challenging government responses to Covid-19.
The video had racked up over 1.3million views before it was taken down. According to Wittkowski, YouTube’s only explanation for the takedown was that the video violated its ‘community standards’.
In the video, Wittkowski argues that the only way to stop Covid-19, in the absence of a vaccine, is to allow the public to develop herd immunity.
In deleting the video, YouTube has crossed a major line. It is now interfering in scientific debate. Wittkowski’s views on herd immunity may not be the view taken by most Western governments, but they are well within the mainstream. Even state epidemiologists, such as Sweden’s Anders Tegnell, see herd immunity as a viable strategy.
spiked interviewed Wittkowski last week. You can read his thoughts here and make up your own mind.
spiked has never been more needed
The pandemic has exposed the conformity of the media. Many journalists and broadcasters seem to think scrutinising the government just means demanding to know why lockdown wasn’t implemented sooner. Meanwhile, the toll of lockdown on people’s jobs and liberties barely gets a look-in. This is why spiked has never been more needed. Our unflinching defence of freedom, democracy and dissent, in these uniquely authoritarian times, marks us out – even among alternative media. We will continue to challenge the New Normal. But to do so we need your help. spiked is free. But only because our generous readers chip in. One-off donations are a huge help. But monthly donations, even just £5 per month, are the best way to support us and help us grow. If you can afford it, please do consider setting up a regular donation today. Thank you all for your support.
To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.