TalkRadio seeks answers over surprise YouTube ban

The Google-owned video giant did not comment on why the News UK-owned radio brand was removed.

TalkRADIO: breakfast presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer discussed the ban this morning (Picture: talkRADIO/Twitter)
TalkRADIO: breakfast presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer discussed the ban this morning (Picture: talkRADIO/Twitter)

News UK has claimed Google has not provided answers to why it removed TalkRadio's video channel from YouTube, several hours after the radio brand’s official posts disappeared from the platform.

Google, which owns YouTube, has not responded to Campaign’s request for comment for why TalkRadio had been removed in the early hours of this morning.

Viewers trying to access the TalkRadio page on Tuesday morning reported seeing the error message: “This account has been terminated for violating Youtube’s community guidelines.” 

That has led to media speculation that YouTube suspended TalkRadio’s account over recent posts about Covid-19 “misinformation”. 

YouTube has a “three strikes” policy in which it reserves the right as a private media company to ban content providers from the platform for breaches. The policy bans any content relating to the pandemic that contradicts medical information issued by local authorities or the World Health Organisation.

In September, Friday drivetime presenter Mark Dolan went viral for protesting against the wearing of face masks by cutting one up live on air. While Dolan is a comedian by profession, public health experts routinely say face masks should be worn at all times in public spaces indoors to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

However, as Campaign went to press with this story, the page is described by YouTube as being merely “unavailable”. 

TalkRadio is licenced by Ofcom in the UK and the regulator has not made any rulings against the radio brand over alleged Covid-19 misinformation. 

The channel, which livestreams and repurposes radio content from TalkRadio, the flagship Wireless radio brand, had around 250,000 subscribers and had attained millions of YouTube views in recent years.

Typically, broadcasters and major YouTube creators have a revenue-share deal with Google for any pre-roll or other types of ads that are served against their content.

A TalkRadio spokesman said: “We urgently await a detailed response from Google/YouTube about the nature of the breach that has led to our channel being removed from its platform.

TalkRadio is an Ofcom licensed and regulated broadcaster and has robust editorial controls in place, taking care to balance debate.

“We regularly interrogate government data and we have controls in place, use verifiable sources and give space to a careful selection of voices and opinions.”

TalkRadio is part of Wireless Group, the radio company that also owns talkSPORT. News UK, the publisher of The Sun and The Times, bought Wireless Group in 2016.

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