Ron DeSantis says YouTube, Google are a ‘council of censors’

Gov. Ron DeSantis reconnected with a national audience Wednesday, joining Fox and Friends to message against the content curation policies of Google and YouTube again.

The Governor said the tech platforms were anti-science and functioned as a “council of censors” when they opted to pull down a video of a controversial coronavirus roundtable DeSantis held with doctors earlier this year.

Last week, YouTube removed a video of DeSantis’ roundtable, which included Drs. Scott AtlasJay Bhattacharya and Martin Kulldorff. At issue: medical guidance regarding children and the necessity of masks.

DeSantis, who brought the doctors back to Tallahassee virtually this week to bemoan the censorship, reprised his objections at length Wednesday.

“When you have the ability to debate people and you can marshal facts against certain viewpoints, you do that. When you don’t have that, that’s when you try to fall back on censorship,” DeSantis said.

“These are doctors and scientists who have been against the narrative really for the past year, and you know, they’ve been right against lockdowns, they’ve been right about kids needing to be in school. Obviously, Florida followed a lot of their advice and we’ve had much more success.”

“And so if what they’re saying isn’t true on science, then show the science that contradicts it,” the Governor continued. “But Google and YouTube couldn’t do that. What Google and YouTube (are) trying to do is serve as a council of censors, where they’re enforcers of the narrative. The narrative is lockdown. The narrative is mask a two year old kid. The narrative is all these different things we kept hearing, and when people counteract that, their instinct is to pull it down.”

“Very troubling,” DeSantis added. “That’s not what science is about. Science is always about asking questions, raising concerns, and Google and YouTube are not dedicated to the scientific method.”

The Governor said the tech platforms stifled “really strong critiques of lockdowns” early in the pandemic, “censored across all these tech platforms.”

“They suffocated it at the outset,” DeSantis asserted.

The Governor held to that metaphor, adding a bit later that “it’s really hard to just smother those facts and take it down, but that’s what they’re doing.”

In a statement last week, YouTube spokeswoman Elena Hernandez said YouTube pulled the video because it “included content that contradicts the consensus of local and global health authorities regarding the efficacy of masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

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