A video by Russell Brand that focused on the NIH and COVID-19 was taken down by YouTube last week, prompting the comedian to shift his livestreams to a different streaming platform called Rumble. In this video, Brand had said that the NIH were recommending the use of Ivermectin even though the US agency was simply trialing its efficacy against COVID-19. This went against YouTube’s COVID-19 Medical Misinformation Policy which prohibits content that spreads misinformation that contradicts local health authorities’ medical information.
In a reaction video posted on YouTube, Brand said that the video was removed because it “cited information on official government websites, which we misinterpreted”.
The comedian has now registered his dissent on YouTube and Rumble saying, “We have officially been censored by YouTube.” He continued, “They took down one of our videos for misinformation, but why are big media organisations not censored for misinformation in the same way? Is it because YouTube are part of the mainstream media now?”
Brand had issued an apology on YouTube for the video, but later took the apology video down saying in a YouTube Short that it was deleted to mirror YouTube’s decision and that he wanted to avoid any risk of accidentally repeating the claim about NIH again. In the same Short, Brand showed an example of YouTube’s alleged partiality to mainstream media by showing a clip of an MSNBC correspondent making a statement that he claims to be misinformation.