The videos of Forum for Democracy Leader Thierry Baudet, in which he talks about the corona crisis, were rightly removed by video platform YouTube. Therefore, the videos dont need to be put back online. Thats what the Amsterdam Court decided today.
These are two videos uploaded by Forum for Democracy. They were later removed by YouTube because, according to the tech company, there was a dissemination of medical disinformation.
The first video of March 17 shows a speech Baudet gave at a campaign meeting in Diemen, on the day of the House of Representatives elections. He criticizes, among other things, the governments corona policies.
Videos deleted and suspended
On July 3, the party posted a video in which Baudet speaks out against the corona measures during a debate in the House of Representatives. He calls the coronavirus a “flu variation”, and denounced the lockdown, the use of face masks and the one-and-a-half meter rule. According to the politician, the admitted corona vaccines are “experimental injections”. An unrecognized animal dewormizer would be a “fine” alternative.
This video was removed by the platform on July 15th. YouTube felt that the content violated the rules the platform has around coronavirus information. The video from Diemen was removed on June 29th. The political partys account was temporarily suspended at the time. Videos, live streams, or messages could not be posted for a week.
Forum for Democracy (FVD) objected to the removal at YouTube, but the company rejected it. The political party then went to court. FVD believes that there is “an inadmissible interference in freedom of expression”.
But according to the judge, there is no question of that. YouTube is allowed to determine its own coronavirus policy. Users should adhere to that. Forum violated those rules and so removal and suspension was reasonable according to court. YouTube has no obligation to give Forum for Democracy the opportunity to reach its supporters, the court motivated its ruling.
Baudet commented on Twitter to the statement: “YouTube cant just cut the democratic process and the peoples representatives. Its an infringement of the free debate.” The judge, according to him, does not deal with the question of whether YouTubes guidelines should be “unbounded”. He doesnt rule out next steps.