YouTube deletes conspiracy theorist David Icke’s account
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YouTube deletes conspiracy theorist David Icke’s account

Online giant takes the 68-year-old's platform down for violating its policies on sharing information about coronavirus

David Icke
David Icke

YouTube have deleted conspiracy theorist David Icke’s account.

The video-sharing site said the 68-year-old violated its policies on sharing information about coronavirus.

The former footballer has made controversial unproven claims about the virus on several internet platforms, including one that it is linked to the 5G mobile network.

The video service, owned by Google, told the BBC: “YouTube has clear policies prohibiting any content that disputes the existence and transmission of Covid-19 as described by the WHO and the NHS.

“Due to continued violation of these policies we have terminated David Icke’s YouTube channel.”

This comes after Countdown star Rachel Riley, the Community Security Trust and the MP Damian Collins were among public figures throwing their weight behind an open letter urging social media companies to “deplatform” the conspiracy theorist.

Icke has previously claimed the world is run by reptiles, has faced accusations of antisemitism from anti-racism and Jewish groups in the past.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH)  unveiled a report on Friday, alleging Icke is spreading “dangerous misinformation” about covid-19 to his two million followers, including the claim that “Sabbatian Frankists” and the Rothschilds are behind, or helped plan, the outbreak.

The ban follows a similar move by Facebook, who removed Icke’s page from their site on Friday.

Famous medics including Dr Christian Jessen and former junior doctor Adam Kay have called on social networks to remove Icke from their platforms.

They are backed by the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), who claim Icke’s conspiracies over Covid-19 have been viewed more than 30 million times.

“We commend YouTube on bowing to pressure and taking action on David Icke’s channel,” said CCDH’s chief executive Imran Ahmed.

“However, there remains a network of channels and shadowy amplifiers, who promote Mr Icke’s content (and) need to be removed.”

They asked for other networks to follow the lead, and added: “It is time for Instagram and Twitter to follow Facebook and YouTube by acting to remove Icke and his content from their platforms.

“Lies cost lives in a global pandemic, and their failure to act promptly puts us all at risk.”

This comes after Ofcom sanctioned a local TV channel, London Live, for broadcasting an interview in which Icke aired “potentially harmful” views about the coronavirus pandemic. A London Live spokesperson said the TV channel “respects Ofcom’s decision in this case and apologises for any harm this may have caused.”

 

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