By Elizabeth Culliford and Paresh Dave
(Reuters) – Fox News Channel host Dan Bongino on Wednesday became among the most-followed conservative personalities to be permanently banned from YouTube, a week after the Google-owned video service said he had posted COVID-19 misinformation.
YouTube suspended one of Bongino’s YouTube channels on Jan. 20 after he posted a video where he questioned the effectiveness of using masks against the coronavirus, a violation of the company’s pandemic-related misinformation policy. His later attempt to circumvent that one-week suspension by posting from another channel triggered a permanent ban, YouTube said.
“When a channel receives a strike, it is against our Terms of Service to post content or use another channel to circumvent the suspension,” YouTube said in a statement. “If a channel is terminated, the uploader is unable to use, own or create any other YouTube channels.”
The video giant has added more rules around COVID-19 content as the pandemic has worn on. Last September, it banned conservative commentators such as Joseph Mercola and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for spreading misinformation about vaccines.
Bongino did not respond to a request for comment sent to his website on Wednesday. But he said on Twitter last week that the suspension did not surprise him and that he planned to continue posting videos on Rumble, a YouTube-style service popular among conservatives. Bongino wrote that he had double the number of followers on Rumble as on YouTube.
His Dan Bongino Show channel on YouTube had 882,000 subscribers and nearly 1,100 uploads since it was created in 2013, according to tracker Social Blade.
(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Aurora Ellis)