Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube suspended the channel of a News Corp.-owned radio station in the U.K., saying it breached the platform’s content standards.
Links that previously led to TalkRadio’s YouTube page on Tuesday contained a message that the account had been “terminated for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.”
“We urgently await a detailed response from Google/YouTube about the nature of the breach,” TalkRadio said in a statement, adding that its content is regulated by U.K. media watchdog Ofcom. Representatives for YouTube didn’t respond to requests for comment, and it’s not yet clear what triggered the suspension.
Blocking a news brand run by billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch marks one of YouTube’s highest profile suspensions. It’s previously taken down swathes of content including the account of the Trump-supporting One America News Network, citing breaches of rules.
Murdoch’s News Corp. bought TalkRadio’s owner Wireless Group in 2016, and has recently expanded its digital broadcast media offering further. He’s been an outspoken critic of Silicon Valley technology firms as he pushes for what he deems a fairer share of their advertising revenue.
TalkRadio presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer complained about the move on Twitter. Without naming YouTube specifically, she asked government Minister Michael Gove about big tech “censorship” on her Tuesday morning show.
TalkRadio calls itself the “home of free speech” in its Twitter biography and its presenters have questioned the wisdom of government lockdown measures aimed at halting the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We regularly interrogate government data and we have controls in place,” TalkRadio said. “We use verifiable sources and give space to a careful selection of voices and opinions.”