A viral video of a Georgia mother’s defiant rebuke of the Gwinnett County Board of Education’s mask mandates was taken down by YouTube Thursday after the social media platform said it spread medical misinformation.
In a statement made to Fox News, YouTube said video of Courtney Ann Taylor’s impassioned demand that Atlanta’s Gwinnett County school board stop requiring her 6-year-old daughter and other children to wear masks violated the company’s Community Guidelines because she said COVID-19 doesn’t affect children.
The video was posted on YouTube by Tom Elliott, an editor for Grabien, who received notice Thursday that his post was taken down.
“YouTube has clear Community Guidelines in place to prevent COVID-19 medical misinformation. In accordance with our policies, we removed this video for including the claim that children are not affected by COVID-19,” a spokesperson for the company told Fox News.
During her speech, Taylor said, “every one of us knows that young children are not affected by this virus.”
People age 0-17 can catch and transmit COVID-19 but are more likely to experience mild or no symptoms. Fox News reported there have been about 300 deaths attributed to COVID-19 for people in that age group, a fraction of a percent of the nearly 600,000 total fatalities during the pandemic.
But YouTube’s policy is to remove videos that contradict the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance, which states that children can be affected by COVID-19.
“While fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, can get sick from COVID-19, and can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to others,” the CDC said. “Children, like adults, who have COVID-19 but have no symptoms (‘asymptomatic’) can still spread the virus to others.”
A video must provide additional context to refute statements that contradict what the CDC says to avoid enforcement action by YouTube’s content moderators.
There are more copies of Taylor’s April 23 speech on YouTube that have not yet been removed.
In her remarks, Taylor said mask mandates for children were forcing them “to carry a burden that was never yours to carry.”
“We chose you to make decisions that would be in our children’s best interest,” Taylor told the school board. “Enforcing 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9-year-old little children to cover their noses and their mouths — where they breathe — for seven hours a day, every day for the last nine months for a virus that you know doesn’t affect them! That is not in their best interest!”