YouTube decided to take out the trash yesterday when it suspended Senator Rand Paul’s account for seven days after he used the online platform to spread coronavirus misinformation.
Paul, who supports deregulation and believes businesses should have the legal right to discriminate against whoever they want, posted a video falsely stating that face masks are ineffective against the spread of coronavirus.
“Most of the masks you get over the counter don’t work,” the antigay senator from Kentucky claimed. “They don’t prevent infection.”
He also said “cloth masks don’t work” either.
Both of Paul’s claims are false. The CDC, WHO, and countless public health experts, including epidemiologists, all agree that masks help protect against the spread of coronavirus.
A spokesperson for YouTube says Paul’s video violated the company’s policy on COVID-19 misinformation.
“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,” a 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.”
As for Paul, he fired off an angry tweet yesterday accusing YouTube of being run by a bunch of “leftwing cretins” then said being banned from the platform was a “badge of honor.”
“Leftwing cretins at Youtube banning me for 7 days for a video that quotes 2 peer reviewed articles saying cloth masks don’t work,” he tweeted.
A badge of honor . . . leftwing cretins at Youtube banning me for 7 days for a video that quotes 2 peer reviewed articles saying cloth masks don’t work.
If you want to see the banned video go to Liberty Tree https://t.co/gsTUwuLZGL
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) August 10, 2021
We can only assume that, given how much he hates YouTube, Paul will not return to the platform next week when his suspension is lifted.
Then in a statement to the right-wing website Liberty Tree, he lied about lying when he said, “I haven’t lied. I haven’t used expletives. I haven’t spread misinformation. I have only told the truth about what our government seeks to do to us, curtailing our most basic liberties, using the COVID-19 pandemic as their excuse.”
Paul’s wife, Kelley, also weighed in on the matter, defending her husband by posting a quote from an email Dr. Anthony Fauci wrote at the very, very beginning of the pandemic before the CDC updated its guidelines on masks in April 2020 when more information about COVID-19 became available.
Cc: @AndyBeshearKY: “The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out the virus, which is small enough to pass through the material.” -Dr Fauci in email advising friend not to wear one. Unless they are single use N95, masks don’t protect kids.
— Kelley Paul (@KelleyAshbyPaul) August 10, 2021
Here’s how folx on Twitter are responding to Paul’s YouTube suspension…
The free market has decided that your opinion is trash
— Travis Allen 🇺🇸 (@TravisAllen02) August 10, 2021
Rand Paul is fully vaccinated. Pass it on
— J (@GetYourGEDBro) August 10, 2021
No GOOD doctor ever said, ” I think I’ll go be a politician. Taking care of people isn’t working out for me.”
Only the crappy ones.
The crappy, crappy ones.
— Robyn Rundell (@RobynRundell) August 10, 2021
Wearing a mask is like wearing a seatbelt. You may not need it every minute, but when you do need it, you’ll be damn happy it was there and you didn’t go through a windshield.
— Shawn Kirkland 🇺🇸🌊🇺🇸🌊🇺🇸🌊🇺🇸🌊 (@ShawnKirkland48) August 11, 2021
— Matt Bialer (@MattBialer) August 11, 2021
“Libertarian cries because business exercises free market practices.”
— Judson Hall 🇺🇸 (@judsonhh) August 10, 2021
if only you were taller, and had any shame at all
— Luke Zaleski (@ZaleskiLuke) August 10, 2021
Men used to go to war, now they complain about their corny videos being banned on the internet.
— Akilah Hughes (@AkilahObviously) August 11, 2021
I reported your video and that is a badge of honor.
— RandahlR (@RandahlR1) August 10, 2021
It’s weird that you support businesses refusing to serve POC or LGBTQ folk out of concerns for freedom to discriminate despite that such customers threaten no harm, but you’re up in arms because this business won’t tolerate misinformation which actually risks other user’s lives.
— vibradiant (@vibradiant) August 11, 2021
Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.