David Davis accuses YouTube of “censoring” him after removing the video.
Senior Conservative MP David Davis has accused YouTube of censoring him after the platform removed his speech criticizing the use of domestic vaccine passports in the UK.
The video of the former cabinet minister speaking on the sidelines of the Tory Party’s annual conference last week was uploaded by the civil liberties campaign group, Big Brother Watch.
In a notification email, the organization’s platform announced: “YouTube does not allow claims about Covid-19 vaccinations that contradict the expert consensus of the local health authorities or the World Health Organization (WHO)”.
During the speech, Mr Davis suggested the use of domestic vaccine passports, calling them “illiberal and demanding that we as normal British citizens produce our papers to do something that is normal in our daily lives”.
The Conservative MP suggested that the use of vaccination cards was about “enforcing a policy through covert coercion to put people under pressure to get vaccinated”.
Just last month, the UK government dramatically postponed proposals to enforce the mandatory use of vaccine passports in crowded places like nightclubs, but kept the policy option in reserve.
Mr Davis reacted angrily at the removal of the video, which has now been posted on YouTube, calling it an “outrageous attack on freedom of expression”.
“During the pandemic, we saw blatant attempts by Big Tech to silence opposition voices that question conventional wisdom,” he said.
Mr. Davis added, “My speech at the conference has been carefully researched, completely accurate, and backed up with the latest scientific evidence.
“This clear attempt by YouTube to censor by voice is a warning. When YouTube likes to try to silence elected MPs, it also likes to censor anyone who uploads content to their speech.
The senior conservative also urged the government to revisit the long-delayed online security bill, which he said contained “totally inappropriate proposals” that would give more power to “unaccountable Silicon Valley giants”.
Mark Johnson, Legal and Policy Officer at Big Brother Watch, said the removal of his speech was a “serious act of censorship from a platform with a growing track record in fighting free speech”.
“If a MP and a human rights group can be censored by YouTube, it can be anyone. Although YouTube has now retired our video, it is clear that online freedom of expression is at risk. We have the means to defend ourselves, but not everyone has it. “
Google, which owns YouTube, has been asked to comment by The independent one.