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YouTube censorship of the Covid-19 debate is a ‘dangerous encroachment’ on the freedom of speech, an editor at leading German tabloid Bild has said after the platform deleted two videos of an online debate on the pandemic.
The preliminary injunction was issued by the Cologne Regional Court in response to a legal challenge filed by the people behind the online campaign. It’s basically a collection of interviews with various experts and public figures about the Covid-19 pandemic that the initiators touted as a ’wide-ranging, fact-based, open and factual discourse’ on their website. Some of them challenged the government handling of the pandemic and raised all sorts of controversial vaccine-related issues.
YouTube found two of those interviews unfit for its hosting and erased them. The flagged videos showed discussions with mathematics professor Stephan Luckhaus and the neurobiologist Gerald Huther. The court called YouTube’s move unjustified, saying that the platform failed to explain which exact parts of the interviews it deemed in violation of its community rules for health-related content, according to German media.
The explanation of why the videos were deleted was kept pretty vague, merely claiming that some opinions about the vaccination against Covid-19 went against the scientific consensus. Overall, the videos contained clearly permissible statements, the court said, which gave credibility to the plaintiffs’ argument that YouTube had unfairly restricted their freedom of expression.
Many people believe the public deserves the right to see those opinions and judge their validity for themselves, without interference from American tech giants. Jan Schafer, the political director of the influential German tabloid Bild, hailed the court’s decision, calling YouTube’s increasingly broad use of censorship a ’dangerous encroachment’ on public discourse in Germany.
Bild was the first to obtain and cover the court injunction on Sunday evening. It remains unclear how much influence the opinion of the German justice system will have on US-based Google, the owner of YouTube.
Last month, YouTube shut down two popular channels of RT DE, the Berlin-based German-language version of RT, using the same ’Covid-19 misinformation’ justification. The decision caused a major rift in German-Russian relationships, as Moscow accused Berlin of tacitly approving the move, if not orchestrating it behind the scene. Germany denied the allegation.
RT DE has been facing an increasingly hostile environment in Germany, with local banks refusing to serve it and some media outlets branding it a Russian propaganda arm bombarding Germans with misinformation. RT DE turned to German courts to defend its reputation from what it argued to be slanderous accusations, securing injunctions in its favour. If you like this story, share it with a friend!
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MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of RISE OF THE SUN WHEEL, EUROPE ARISE, TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROES, MEGACAUST, DEATH OF A CITY, WITNESS TO HISTORY, MY LAST TESTAMENT LET GOD JUDGE ME, THE BUSINESS BOOSTER , THE FIFTH COLUMN VOLUME I and II, FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, IMMORTAL BELOVED, THE ALL LIES INVASION, INSPIRE A NATION Volume I, INSPIRE A NATION Volume II , SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY , REICH AND WRONG, THE RED BRIGANDS, RANSACKING THE REICH, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS , SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH VOLUME III Porcelain and Reich Sculptors, The Exiled Duke Romanov Who Turned Desert Into Paradise , THE DOVETAILS , SEX FEST AT TIFFANY’S , THE AMOROUS GHOST AND ENCOUNTERS and other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.
MICHAEL WALSH is an Irish British-born journalist. His 70 books include best-selling historical books THE ALL LIES INVASION, MY LAST TESTAMENT LET GOD JUDGE ME, WITNESS TO HISTORY, TESTIGO DE LA HISTORIA: HISTORIA SIN CENSURA (SPANISH EDITION), REICH AND WRONG, HEROES HANG WHEN TRAITORS TRIUMPH , HEROES OF THE REICH, THE FUHRER’S PROCLAMATION TO THE GERMAN PEOPLE , FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, MEGACAUST, THE RED BRIGANDS, RANSACKING THE REICH, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS , SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH VOLUME III Porcelain and Reich Sculptors, and DEATH OF A CITY.
MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, author, and broadcaster. His 70 books include best-selling RHODESIA’S DEATH EUROPE’S FUNERAL, AFRICA’S KILLING FIELDS, THE LAST GLADIATORS, A Leopard in Liverpool, RISE OF THE SUN WHEEL, EUROPE ARISE, FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, THE ALL LIES INVASION, INSPIRE A NATION Volume I, INSPIRE A NATION Volume II, and many other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers. Click REAL HISTORY.
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