YouTube suspended One America New from its platform.

Angela Lang/CNET

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YouTube on Tuesday said it suspended One America News, a far-right news organization, for spreading misinformation related to COVID-19.

The Google-owned platform said it took action against OAN, one of President Donald Trump’s favorite outlets, after it posted a video that violated a policy against claiming there’s a guaranteed cure for the novel coronavirus. 

“Since early in this pandemic, we’ve worked to prevent the spread of harmful misinformation associated with COVID-19 on YouTube,” Ivy Choi, a YouTube spokeswoman, said in a statement. The company said it removed the offending video “after careful review.” 

As punishment, Youtube said it issued a strike against OAN. Under the platform’s three-strikes policy, the account can’t upload videos for at least a week after the violation. YouTube said it has also halted OAN’s ability to earn revenue from videos, though the news outlet can reapply for the YouTube program that allows it to monetize content. OAN couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

The suspension comes as YouTube has already been criticized for not doing enough to curb misinformation spread by OAN on the platform. In the days after the US presidential election earlier this month, OAN uploaded videos that falsely declared victory for Trump and baselessly accused Democrats of rigging the contest. YouTube demonetized the videos and labeled them with the warning, “Results may not be final.” 

YouTube has also drawn blowback from lawmakers for its handling of misinformation. In a letter sent to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki late Monday, a group of Senate Democrats urged the company to take down false news related to the election and its outcome. The senators also expressed concern over the effect misinformation could have on two January runoff elections in Georgia, which will decide which party controls the Senate.

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