YouTube is once again curbing free speech, this time censoring Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., for disagreeing with the government. Paul posted a video about masks that contradicted current CDC guidance, and as punishment, YouTube removed the video and banned Paul from uploading content for seven days.
Paul originally posted a video of a journalist interviewing him, which included a discussion about the science of masking.
“Apparently, because I dared to contradict Dr. Fauci and the government, YouTube has removed my video,” Paul said in a response video, which the Big Tech company also removed. “YouTube might be a private entity, but they’re acting like an arm of the government censoring those who provide an alternative view to the science deniers in Washington — people like Dr. Fauci, who have lied to the American people time and time again about masks.”
The “offensive” content in the video was Paul’s claim that N-95 masks are effective but cloth masks are not.
“Most of the masks you get over the counter don’t work, they don’t prevent infection,” Paul said. “Saying cloth masks work when they don’t actually risks lives, as someone may choose to care for a loved one with COVID while only wearing a cloth mask. This is not only bad advice but also potentially deadly information.”
Paul said the health experts at the CDC have been ignoring key studies on the efficacy of surgical masks.
“A Danish study of 6,000 participants found that wearing a surgical mask did not significantly reduce a person’s risk of COVID-19 infection compared to the risks facing those who did not wear masks,” Paul said. “A Vietnamese study of 1,600 participants found that cloth masks allow for 97 percent penetration of particles the same size as the virus. This study also found that cloth mask wearers had a higher rate of infection than the control group who wore no masks.”
Paul said he’s always supported N-95 masks because they are more protective, which is why health care workers in contact with COVID-19 wear them instead of cloth coverings.
“Dr. Fauci knew that too, which is why he originally lied to the public and said that the masks don’t work. He feared not enough health workers would be able to buy N-95 masks if the public was buying them,” Paul said. “Ask any doctor or nurse what mask they wear when they go into a COVID patient’s room: only an N-95 mask, because the other masks don’t work.”
A YouTube spokesperson told The Federalist that Paul has been issued a “first strike” for his comments on masks.
“We removed content from Senator Paul’s channel for including claims that masks are ineffective in preventing the contraction or transmission of COVID-19, in accordance with our COVID-19 medical misinformation policies,” the spokesperson said. “This resulted in a first strike on the channel, which means it can’t upload content for a week, per our longstanding three strikes policy. We apply our policies consistently across the platform, regardless of speaker or political views, and we make exceptions for videos that have additional context such as countervailing views from local health authorities.”
Although Paul said private companies have a right to ban him, he thinks YouTube’s censorship is dangerous.
“As a libertarian-leaning senator, I think private companies have the right to ban me if they want to, but I think it is really anti-free speech, anti-progress of science, which involves skepticism and argumentation to arrive at the truth,” Paul said. “I will try to channel my anger, not in breaking these companies up but by publicly expressing my disagreement with them and publicly promoting other channels that offer free-speech alternatives.”