YouTube Censors Video of School Board Meeting on Mask Mandates

YouTube Censors Video of School Board Meeting on Mask
Mandates 1

Site has removed tens of thousands of videos questioning COVID policies

(Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Santi Ruiz • July 13, 2021 2:00 pm

YouTube on Tuesday removed a video of an Illinois public school board meeting in which parents spoke out against the district’s mask mandate.

A Lake Forest High School video of its Monday evening board meeting was removed by YouTube by Tuesday morning for violating the site’s “community guidelines.” Those who watched the video told the Washington Free Beacon it included requests from parents to make masks optional. Lake Forest chief communications officer Melissa Oakley said the school filed an appeal to YouTube but has not heard back.

YouTube’s guidelines prohibit videos that question the World Health Organization’s COVID policies, including a recommendation that children twelve and older wear masks indoors. The platform has removed more than 30,000 videos containing “COVID misinformation” since the beginning of the pandemic, including a discussion hosted by Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R.) in which panelists suggested masks weren’t necessary for children. Studies have shown that in-school COVID transmission is incredibly rare.

CDC guidelines recommend children who are not fully vaccinated wear masks indoors, but school districts have freedom to set their own policies. CDC data indicate 49,047 deaths of people under the age of 18 last year, of which only 331 were from COVID-19.

Oakley said Lake Forest High records its meeting by livestreaming directly to YouTube, which means it cannot now access the video. She said YouTube had also pulled a previous board meeting.

One apparent attendee at Monday’s meeting posted on Twitter, “The meeting was AWESOME! Concerned and courageous parents spoke up, the BOE heard our message…. Last night we saw transparency, witnessed leadership and FELT UNITY.”

YouTube did not respond to a request for comment.

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