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YouTube deletes David Icke’s channel over coronavirus misinformation

Conspiracy theorist David Icke has had his YouTube channel deleted because he repeatedly posted misleading information about coronavirus.

The former TV presenter and professional footballer confirmed the news in a tweet on Saturday night which included the video-sharing platform’s notice to him, saying “activity in your account violates our terms of service”.

Icke referred to himself as “the man the elite are terrified of” and claimed the reason for his being banned was a “made-up” complaint from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), a UK-based think-tank.

He used his channel, which had more than 900,000 subscribers at the time it was taken down, to push controversial unproven claims that coronavirus is linked to 5G mobile phone networks.

Such theories have been linked to a spate of attacks on 5G masts during the pandemic.

The video in which he reportedly made that comment was later removed from YouTube.

In another video, on his website, Icke says he “obviously” does not believe there actually is a virus, and says lockdowns are a way of destroying people’s livelihoods and making them dependent on the state.

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On Friday he was banned from Facebook and the last clip he posted on YouTube, discussing that ban, had about 120,000 views.

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Last month, a live-streamed interview with Mr Icke posted by another account prompted YouTube to ban all conspiracy theory videos falsely linking coronavirus symptoms to 5G.

Later, it also banned any material that suggests coronavirus does not exist.

Commenting on the termination of Icke’s account, a YouTube spokeswoman told the BBC: “YouTube has clear policies prohibiting any content that disputes the existence and transmission of COVID-19 as described by the WHO and the NHS.

“Due to continued violation of these policies we have terminated David Icke’s YouTube channel.”

The move was welcomed by Imran Ahmed, chief executive of the CCDH.

In a tweet, he urged Facebook and YouTube to “go further and remove the network of shadowy channels and accounts that promote Icke on their platforms”, while telling Twitter to ban Icke, too.

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Next week Kay Burley will be hosting a live Q&A with Health Secretary Matt Hancock. You can put your questions to Mr Hancock about the coronavirus and its impact on your life live on Sky News.

Email us your questions – or you can record a video clip of your question on your phone – and send it to AskTheHealthSecretary@sky.uk

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