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YouTube Dumps Rand Paul for a Week Over Mask Misinfo

GOP senator calls his weeklong booting a 'badge of honor'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2021 8:19 AM CDT
YouTube Dumps Rand Paul for a Week Over Mask Misinfo
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks on July 20, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

(Newser) – Marjorie Taylor Greene isn't the only Republican lawmaker who's temporarily lost social media privileges. On Tuesday, the same day that Twitter placed the Georgia congresswoman on a seven-day break for posting misinformation on the COVID vaccine, GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky received his own weeklong suspension from YouTube, reports CNN Business. Paul's infraction: claiming face masks aren't effective as a mitigation tool against COVID. Per the New York Times, among the quotes from the three-minute video that led to the banning was Paul insisting, "Most of the masks you get over the counter don't work. They don't prevent infection." Also: "Trying to shape human behavior isn't the same as following the actual science, which tells us that cloth masks don't work."

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A YouTube spokesperson cited the company's "three strikes" rule, which notes a warning is given for a first violation against the company's policies, then a first "strike" for a second offense, which earns a weeklong ban on uploading new videos. It appears that Paul's first violation was a video, since taken down by YouTube, of an eight-minute Newsmax interview in which the senator claimed "there's no value" in wearing masks. The first strike will be nixed from the account's record after 90 days if there are no more violations. A second strike within those 90 days leads to a two-week suspension, while strike No. 3 results in a permanent ban. In a tweet later Tuesday, Paul called his suspension a "badge of honor," scoffing at the "leftwing cretins at Youtube banning me for 7 days for a video that quotes 2 peer reviewed articles saying cloth masks don't work." (Read more Rand Paul stories.)

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