COLUMBUS, OHIO (AP) — Legislative testimony made Wednesday in support of a GOP-backed effort to limit public health orders made by Ohio’s governor was removed from YouTube after the service deemed it contained COVID-19 misinformation.
The Google-owned platform said it removed content that was uploaded this week to The Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom channel for violating the company’s terms of services.
The video showed attorney for Ohio Stands Up Thomas Renz, a citizen group, make the opening testimony during a House committee hearing on a bill that would allow lawmakers to vote down public health orders during the pandemic.
In the more than 30-minute testimony, Renz made a number of debunked or baseless claims, including that no Ohioans under the age of 19 have died from COVID-19 — a claim that has been debunked by state data.
“We have clear Community Guidelines that govern what videos may stay on YouTube, which we enforce consistently, regardless of speaker,” spokesperson for Google Ivy Choi told The Associated Press (AP). “We removed this video in accordance with our COVID-19 misinformation policy, which prohibits content that claims a certain age group cannot transmit the virus.”
In an email response, Renz told AP, “We strongly stand behind our claims and are considering our options,” and asserted that the group’s data is supported by scientific research.