Sky News Australia executives received a call last Thursday that media operators didn’t want to receive. Ed Miles, YouTube’s Australian Partnership Director, has notified the 24-hour news channel about an account on a video sharing site owned by Google. It was suspended for a week.
YouTube has become an important distribution platform for Sky News in Australia and around the world. Sky is now good at harnessing the power of Facebook, a video site and social media platform, so local presenters are gaining a lot of traction in offshore conservative circles.
However, a May 3 clip of the controversial broadcaster Alan Jones, one of those presenters, violated YouTube’s COVID-19 false alarm guidelines. It also means that Sky had already received a warning from YouTube last December, which means that Rupert Murdoch-owned broadcasters couldn’t upload videos to the platform for seven days.
In the video, Jones argued that COVID-19 was not a pandemic by definition due to global death toll, and India’s death toll was not as bad as the news announced. WHO designated COVID-19 as a pandemic in March last year.
“It looks like we’ve redefined the word pandemic,” Jones thunders in the video... “Now it seems about the number of incidents that continue to be told to us in vigilant words every day. Many members of our Indian family are exempt from attending family funerals, weddings and childbirths. I’m in India because I was under the influence of. “These claims were rejected by his interviewee, Professor Mike Tour, an epidemiologist at the Burnett Institute.
Sky News has gained a lot of viewers on YouTube. The channel has 1.9 million subscribers, and the video is played an average of 2.3 million times a day. This is part of a deliberate strategy for broadcasters to make money. YouTube revenue is shared between the ads that appear before and during the clip and the content offering agreement with the platform.
How Sky achieved this-courting conspiracy theories and through incendiary commentary-raised concerns that it emulated Murdoch’s American channel Fox News. Fox News has been criticized for similar reasons, Faced with its own backlash In the United States over the last few weeks’ approach to a pandemic.
At the same time, YouTube’s outage of Sky has rekindled concerns within News Corporation about the pure power and unexplained nature of global digital platforms, and their impact on traditional media. Regarding YouTube’s reaction, critics of News Corporation (such as former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd) have said they have no right to complain given the large media footprint in Australia and offshore through titles such as: .. Australian Daily Telegraph When New York Post.
Meanwhile, Sky’s nighttime hosts, including Sharri Markson, Andrew Bolt, and digital editor Jack Houghton, have seized the cessation as an attack on free speech. Tucker Carlson, the host of the controversial American Fox News, said Australia has turned into a “COVID dictatorship” that can’t ask basic questions without censorship. However, Sky’s outage gave presenters fresh ammunition during the Media Culture War, which surprised and frustrated senior executives at News Corporation and Sky Stables, who had not been warned of the issue of violations since December last year.
In the world of media regulation, the YouTube process can be considered unorthodox. For example, the Australian Communications and Media Authority will conduct a thorough investigation when it receives a complaint about a broadcaster. If there is a breach, we will report the reason in detail.
People close to YouTube’s decision to ban Sky News, which spoke on condition of anonymity, said the tech giant had not given broadcasters a written confirmation of the ban. Sources not allowed to speak publicly also said Sky News did not provide a specific reason why the clip caused the outage.
Sky News was last contacted for a particular breach of guidelines in December when it was notified that two videos had been deleted due to a breach of YouTube’s COVID-19 false alarm policy. This decision prompted a thorough review of Sky News content executives and new attempts to comply with updated guidelines and avoid further issues.
Management took it seriously and asked YouTube in December if other clips violated the guidelines. They did not receive a reply.
Both Sky News and YouTube declined to comment.
YouTube frequently updates the COVID-19 false alarm guidelines and removes posts that do not meet those guidelines. Reviewers consider the uploader’s content and intent when watching flagged videos. Account suspension (or “strike”) only occurs if someone violates the policy and has already received a warning. In the case of Sky News, the warning was issued in December.
When YouTube notified Sky News of the strike, it also said it had deleted 14 videos that aired before the talks between the two organizations took place in December. YouTube will only remove past content in violation of the latest guidelines if it recognizes the video through artificial intelligence technology or the user. YouTube did not clarify when it updated the incorrect information guidelines.
However, despite best efforts, YouTube, which has more than 2 billion monthly registered users, often struggles to remove false, disinformation, dangerous or violent content from its platform. I have.
Australian terrorist Brendan Tarrant, who killed 51 people in two Christchurch mosques in 2019, was intensified by YouTube, according to a report by the Royal Commission of New Zealand in 2020. The video of the slaughter was also uploaded to YouTube hours after it happened. YouTube has also been forced to implement rigorous guidelines over the past 18 months to control the rapid spread of false information about COVID-19 on its website.
And in another example of how difficult it is to manage that misinformation, the video that caused the Sky News outage is still available on another YouTube account.
Jones made two corrections to his comments about Sky last week. One explanation is related to his attitude towards vaccination, and the other is falsely presented to rebel Congressman Craig Kelly about COVID-19, vaccination safety, and Delta strains. It was related to information. It wasn’t discussed whether the video that caused Sky to stop YouTube wasn’t included in either on-air fix.
“Not surprising at all”
It’s unclear who or what specifically warned YouTube about the Jones video that triggered the outage, which was uploaded in early May. Machine learning technology or the user who alerted the system may have led to a manual review by the YouTube team. But inside News Corporation, allegations that former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is behind the complaint are rampant among executives. It is considered a direct attack on the department that is making money through its relationship with YouTube.
However, the accusation was strongly rejected by Mr. Rudd on Wednesday.
“I didn’t flag Murdoch’s pandemic disinformation on YouTube, but given how sharply Australians opposed Murdoch, it’s not surprising that the general public would do so,” Rudd said. He said in a statement. But he admitted that Sky News had written to YouTube twice in the last few months to complain that it “breeds far-right extremism in Australia.”
In a letter to Google’s deputy managing director Caroline Rainsford on May 27, Rudd said in a comment below the Sky News video in a news report that a British Black Lives Matter activist was shot in the head. Expressed concern. According to Rudd, over 7,000 comments were dominated by “expressions of exhilaration” about shooting, an example of Sky News using YouTube to fuel a “far-right echo chamber.”
The letter, also addressed to News Corporation Chairman Michael Miller, asked if YouTube plans to consider a deal to deliver Sky Content over YouTube.
“Media owners such as YouTube and Sky News Australia are responsible for not promoting extremism just because it is beneficial,” he wrote in a letter. Herald When The times.
It prompted discussions between News Corp executives and YouTube on how to moderate and manage comments on the platform. News Corporation’s voice critic, Rudd, was behind the Royal Commission’s petition to the company, which had more than 500,000 signatures. It also led to a survey of the Media Diversity Senate, led by Green Party Senator Sarah Hanson Young.
The day after the ban news was reported on Sunday, Rudd posted a two-and-a-half-minute video on Twitter. To promote “quack medicine”.
Since then, he has repeatedly posted on the issue.
A tweet by Ms Hanson-Young on Monday questioned Media Watchdog’s involvement in the regulation of Sky content. Shortly thereafter, ACMA contacted Sky News for the first time over a long period of time, asking if the content it got from YouTube was aired locally. It is not yet known if the Media Watchdog will pursue this.
Senate Media Diversity Survey Called Sky News, YouTube, and Media Watchdog executives, ACMA, submitting evidence at a hearing at the Capitol on August 13. The Labor and Greens Controlled Communications Commission also said that Dr. Kelly Chant (NSW), Professor Brett Sutton (Victoria) and Dr. Janet Young (QLD) had false information on COVID-19 and hesitation in vaccines. To investigate the relationship. Rudd will also be recalled-for his second appearance in the investigation.
Sky News will be able to upload videos again as early as Friday, but the decision reveals how Australia’s leading tech companies can regulate traditional media. Whatever happens from here, Sky ban is the latest in a long-running list of flare-ups between publishers and platforms. It is unlikely that it will be the last.
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