Senate Inquiry to call Sky, YouTube, ACMA

Chair of the Senate Inquiry into Media Diversity Senator Sarah Hanson-Young will move for YouTube’s seven-day ban on Sky News to be investigated by the Committee.

Senator Hanson-Young said she will be requesting that representatives from Sky News, YouTube/Google and ACMA be called to give evidence on the ban and why the broadcasting regulator has failed to take any action.

“The obvious question is if the spread of misinformation isn’t allowed on the internet why is it on television broadcasts?

“There are questions for both the government regulator and the companies involved, and the Media Inquiry should investigate.

“Many people are asking why it takes a tech company to hold Murdoch’s News Corp’s dissemination of Covid misinformation and conspiracy-theories to account. Where is the public media regulator in all this?

“Google-owned YouTube has taken action to uphold its policies around medical misinformation on its platform and that is welcome. Governments around the world have been putting pressure on the social media giants to act responsibly in relation to COVID misinformation.

“But we aren’t talking about just any YouTube account, Sky News is a commercial broadcaster and so the very obvious question is how can they get away with it on television? Sky News broadcasts on both a subscription service and also free-to-air in many regional areas – this puts the news channel clearly in ACMA’s remit.

“ACMA appears to be sitting on its hands while a tech giant upholds standards the government regulator doesn’t seem to have.”

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