Rand Paul mocked for quitting YouTube in vaxx misinformation protest: ‘Rand Paul was on YouTube?’

Kentucky senator plans move to Rumble, favoured video platform of right wing

John Bowden
Monday 03 January 2022 22:31
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<p>Senator Rand Paul at a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing</p>

Senator Rand Paul at a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing

A Kentucky senator was roundly mocked on Twitter for his announcement that he would be deleting his YouTube account and move his video-based content to Rumble, a social media site that has sought to attract creators dissatisfied with Google and other companies’ misinformation policies.

Rand Paul, a Republican, made the announcement on Monday in an op-ed in the right-leaning Washington Examiner, declaring the move his New Year’s resolution.

“Many in Congress, on the Left and the Right, want to break up or regulate Big Tech, but few of these loud voices have actually stepped up and quit using Big Tech,” he wrote.

“So today, I announce that I will begin an exodus from Big Tech. I will no longer post videos on YouTube unless it is to criticize them or announce that viewers can see my content on rumble.com,” he continued.

The announcement was met with muted reaction and a collective shrug on Twitter, where many seemed unaware that Mr Paul was producing content on YouTube to begin with.

A review of Mr Paul’s channel on Monday revealed most recent videos on the channel garnering less than ten thousand views each, with the consistent exception of the attention-grabbing Fox News segments posted by the senator in which he heaps criticism on Dr Anthony Fauci, the president’s top Covid-19 adviser and a frequent target of conservatives.

He is not the only congressional Republican to face pushback from social media companies in recent days for publishing content that violated the Covid-19 misinformation policies of mainstream platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a House member from Georgia, was banned from Twitter over the weekend and temporarily suspended from Facebook over a post falsely claiming that the government was ignoring deaths supposedly stemming from Covid-19 vaccines.

Mr Paul said in a video released on his YouTube channel that the platform had repeatedly removed his videos and issues warnings for violations of the site’s Covid-19 policies. The site prohibits “content about Covid-19 that poses a serious risk of egregious harm” to viewers.

A video announcing his move from the platform interestingly was uploaded to Mr Paul’s channel as far back as August of last year; the senator appears to have finally decided to host content exclusively on one platform after battling YouTube’s content safety teams for five months.

“The fact is, I don’t know how long this will be up, since YouTube has decided to start censoring me, and pulling down my videos,” he said in the previously-released clip.

Mr Paul is up for reelection in the fall; he previously won reelection in 2016 by just under 15 per cent of the vote. In the past year, he has cast doubt on the effectiveness of masks for preventing Covid-19 and also claimed that he does not need to get a vaccine because he was previously infected with the virus.

He has also clashed publicly with Dr Fauci in numerous Senate hearings, resulting in the latter accusing him of repeatedly spreading Covid-19 misinformation such as in one instance where he suggested falsely that New York’s test positivity rate was declining because the population had reached herd immunity.

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