Senior Conservative MP David Davies has accused YouTube of censoring him after his speech criticizing the use of domestic vaccine passports in Britain was removed.
Video of the former cabinet minister – speaking on the sidelines of the Tory party’s annual convention last week – was uploaded by the civil liberties campaign group, Big Brother Watch.
In a notification email, the platform told the organization: “YouTube does not allow claims of COVID-19 vaccination that contradict expert consent from local health authorities or the World Health Organization (WHO).”
During the speech, Mr Davies hit out at the use of domestic vaccine passports, calling them “vulgar, demanding that we, as ordinary British citizens, prepare our papers for something that is common in our daily lives”.
The Conservative MP suggested that the use of vaccine passports was “about trying to advance a policy by covert force, about pressuring people to get vaccinated”.
Just last month, the UK government dramatically shelved proposals to enforce the mandatory use of vaccine passports in crowded places such as nightclubs, but has reserved the policy option.
Reacting angrily to the move to remove the video, which has now been reinstated on YouTube, Mr Davis dubbed it a “derogatory attack on free speech”.
“During the pandemic, we have seen efforts by big technology to silence opposition voices challenging conventional wisdom,” he said.
Mr Davis said: “My speech at the conference was carefully researched, completely accurate and backed up with the latest scientific facts.
“This apparent attempt by YouTube to censor by speech is a warning. If YouTube is happy to attempt to silence elected lawmakers, they are also happy to censor anyone who uploads content to their speeches.
The senior Conservative urged the government to revisit the long-delayed online security bill, which he described as “totally inadequate proposals” that delegate more power to “irresponsible Silicon Valley giants” .
Big Brother Watch legal and policy officer Mark Johnson said the removal of his speech was “a serious act of censorship from a platform with a growing track record of closing in on free speech”.
“If a Member of Parliament and a human rights group can be censored by YouTube, so can anyone. While YouTube has now reinstated our videos, it is clear that freedom of speech online is in peril. While we have means to fight back, not everyone does”.
Google, which owns YouTube, has been contacted for comment. Granthshala.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /