YouTube Channel Restored for Big Tech, Pandemic Coverage Critic Naomi Wolf

YouTube Channel Restored for Big Tech, Pandemic Coverage Critic Naomi Wolf
Naomi Wolf in New York City on Sept. 17, 2014. (Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
Matthew Vadum

YouTube has abruptly restored liberal skeptic Naomi Wolf’s DailyClout video channel, after an article in The Epoch Times drew attention to its sudden deletion last week.

Wolf, a co-founder of the DailyClout website, is a widely published journalist and bestselling author of books such as “The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women” (1990) and “The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot” (2007). She was an adviser to then-President Bill Clinton’s 1996 reelection campaign and to then-Vice President Al Gore, both Democrats.

Earlier this summer, Twitter banned Wolf, who has been critical of vaccine passports and media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, as The Epoch Times reported at the time. Twitter said Wolf had disseminated vaccine misinformation in violation of the microblogging website’s policies, a claim she denies.

Wolf said she was deplatformed by Twitter after sharing with 146,000 followers UNC senior researcher Dr. Ralph Baric's resume, which shows that his work on gain-of-function research had been funded by the federal government, a fact already reported in the media.

The Epoch Times reported last week that the civic-minded, informational DailyClout channel was deleted by YouTube sometime on Aug. 24 after a video was posted that featured Wolf conducting an interview with Leslie Manookian, president and founder of Health Freedom Defense Fund Inc., a prominent critic of mandatory mask policies in schools.

Around the time the channel disappeared, YouTube sent DailyClout an email advising that a video titled “Dr Naomi Wolf and Leslie Manookian speak about her award-winning documentary ‘The Greater Good,'” had been removed for violating YouTube’s “medical misinformation policy.”

“YouTube doesn’t allow claims about COVID-19 vaccinations that contradict expert consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organization (WHO),” stated the email.

Wolf countered that the video was not filled with contentious material. It included information already disseminated by Public Citizen, Axios, and Vanity Fair.

But in an email time-stamped Aug. 26 at 7:47 p.m. ET, YouTube advised Wolf’s website that it had made a mistake and resurrected the video channel.

“We’re pleased to let you know that we’ve recently reviewed your YouTube account, and after taking another look, we can confirm that it is not in violation of our Terms of Service. We have lifted the suspension of your account, and it is once again active and operational,” according to the email, which was obtained by The Epoch Times.

“We’d like to thank you for your patience while we reviewed this case. Our goal is to make sure content doesn’t violate our Community Guidelines so that YouTube can be a safe place for all—and sometimes we make mistakes trying to get it right. We hope you understand, and we’re sorry for any inconvenience or frustration this has caused.”

Wolf told The Epoch Times that while she was glad the channel, which she said features “nerdy, nonpartisan, straight-up public interest reporting,” was restored, she remains worried about YouTube’s future behavior.

“DailyClout is a company, but our business model is about communicating information,” Wolf said. “This can't happen to us again. What I'm trying to say is it's not just about me, but it's about DailyClout, the community, and the people who count on us to keep them informed.”

When the channel was restored, more than 300,000 views were removed from the view counter and thousands of subscribers disappeared, Wolf said.

She said she was concerned that a big tech company like YouTube can silence “any small business owner, or any news outlet, or any reporter ... and damage can be done to their business or their reputation at any time.”

“It's not American to police speech in this way,” Wolf said.

The current situation with rampant social media censorship is “unsustainable if we want to survive as a democracy,” Wolf said. “I do think that proposals to regulate social media platforms as utilities makes sense conceptually.”

Wolf remains concerned that the United States is moving in the direction of the Chinese social credit system.

“I'm like day and night terrified about it, and it's arriving at warp speed,” she said. “One reason I may be on the radar of big tech companies is because I was one of the first voices to really raise the alarm about vaccine passports.”

Wolf said The Epoch Times helped get her channel restored.

“I did just want to add, for the record, my sincere appreciation for The Epoch Times, since it is the only major site to do serious reporting on these issues in my view. Without the scrutiny of The Epoch Times, I doubt YouTube would have reversed course,” she said.

The Epoch Times reached out to YouTube, which is owned by Google, for a comment over the weekend and received a nonspecific automated email reply promising “The Google Press Team” would “get back to [us] as soon as possible.” No further reply was received by press time.

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