YouTube on Thursday restored the Ron Paul Institute channel after mistakenly removing it for violating its community guidelines, the company said.
Responding to a tweet from former Texas Congressman Dr. Ron Paul announcing that his channel had been removed apparently without warning, YouTube said its enforcement action was a "mistake" and quickly corrected the error.
Earlier, Paul tweeted he was "Very shocked that @YouTube has completely removed the Channel of my Ron Paul Institute," the popular libertarian host of the "Ron Paul Liberty Report," saying the channel was removed without warning, strikes, nor evidence of wrongdoing.
"Only explanation was 'severe or repeated violations of our community guidelines.' Channel is rarely used. The appeal was automatically rejected. Help?" said Paul.
Paul shared screenshots of emails with his communications with YouTube, in which an appeal to reinstate the Institute's channel was initially denied.
In a follow-up tweet, Paul clarified that the channel that hosts his show is still available on YouTube. "The Ron Paul Institute's YouTube account has been terminated. It is a seldom-used account and its termination is perplexing," he said.
Responding, YouTube's support and education team said "this was a mistake and your channel has been reinstated."
"Thanks for being patient while we sorted this out – we'll be reaching out via email shortly in case you have any questions," YouTube said.
However, an Aug. 13, 2020 episode of the "Ron Paul Liberty Report" that featured prominent vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as a guest was also removed by YouTube for violating the company's new guidelines on vaccine misinformation.
"Very unhappy to learn that @YouTube has also removed our Liberty Report episode with special guest @RobertKennedyJr - it was one of our most popular episodes," Paul said.
YouTube on Wednesday published an update to its Community Guidelines that is intended to crack down on "medical misinformation" about vaccines. The company will now ban any video on its platform that "falsely alleges that approved vaccines are dangerous and cause chronic health effects, claims that vaccines do not reduce transmission or contraction of disease, or contains misinformation on the substances contained in vaccines."
An anti-vaccine channel run by Kennedy Jr. was deplatformed on the same day YouTube announced the new policy.
Earlier this year, YouTube said it has removed more than 1 million videos for containing "harmful misinformation" related to the coronavirus pandemic. The updated guidelines expanding its policies to include prohibitions on vaccine "misinformation" was hailed by Democratic politicians who have called on social media companies to censor "deadly misinformation" about the pandemic and vaccines.
"YouTube's curbing of anti-vaccine content is a strong first step. But this doesn't mark the end of our fight against deadly misinformation," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said.
According to the Washington Post, YouTube's change in policy came in response to pressure from "regulators, lawmakers, and regular users" who have complained about the spread of misinformation on its platform.