WSJ Editorial Board: YouTube’s assault on COVID accountability

To hold elected representatives responsible for their decisions, Americans need to know what those officials and their advisers are saying. That’s an essential democratic principle, and it’s as accurate for coronavirus response as any other policy challenge. So it’s chilling that Google’s YouTube, through its “medical misinformation policy,” appears to be systematically undermining the ability to access material in the public interest.

Last September, YouTube scrubbed a Hoover Institution interview with Scott Atlas, one of President Trump’s coronavirus advisers. In January, it censored a U.S. Senate committee hearing on unapproved coronavirus treatments. Now it has taken down a video of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis holding a policy discussion with Dr. Atlas and the three creators of the Great Barrington Declaration, a group of physicians and scientists critical of strict lockdowns to fight the coronavirus.

In the hour-and-forty-five minute video, Mr. DeSantis and the four panelists lambaste the U.S. coronavirus response as excessively draconian and ineffective. They emphasize unintended public-health harms from lockdowns and school closures, criticize mask mandates and generally celebrate Florida’s comeback.

The video was shared in a story from a Tampa Bay, Fla., news station, and its removal from YouTube was first flagged by the American Institute for Economic Research. YouTube told us Thursday in a statement that it removed the video “because it included content that contradicts the consensus of local and global health authorities regarding the efficacy of masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Tyson Houlding
Tyson Houlding is a 28-year-old associate at a law firm who enjoys walking, writing, and learning new languages. He is creative and bright, but can also be very unfriendly and a bit lazy.He is an Australian Christian who defines himself as straight. He has a post-graduate degree in law.