WASHINGTON, DC — Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) says he has had enough of the social media platform YouTube. 

What You Need To Know

  • Sen. Rand Paul says he is quitting YouTube

  • Last year, YouTube removed several of Paul’s videos citing COVID misinformation

  • Paul says this is the beginning of what he calls his “exodus from Big Tech”

He says he will no longer post to the popular site, unless he is criticizing it. This comes after YouTube removed several of his videos, saying the Paul was spreading misinformation about COVID-19. 

“I’ve decided I’m going to quit giving them my content. I’m going to give my content to somebody who has a similar viewpoint to mine on speech, not necessarily politics,” Paul said in an interview with Spectrum News 1. 

Senator Paul has criticized YouTube’s policies for a while. Back in August, YouTube suspended Paul for a week for violating its policy against spreading COVID misinformation. In a tweet, Paul called that suspension a “badge of honor.” 

“I think they’re showing their perspective, and theirs is a very narrow, small-minded perspective that people can’t handle the truth and they’re going to censor and decide what the truth is,” Paul said. 

“We removed content from Senator Paul’s channel for including claims that masks are ineffective in preventing the contraction of transmission of COVID-19, in accordance with our COVID-19 medical misinformation policies,” said YouTube in a statement. 

Paul was suspended again in Sept. for another video that questioned the effectiveness of masks. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “correct and consistent” mask use is a critical step to preventing the spread of COVID-19. 

A number of prominent conservatives have clashed with Big Tech lately. Paul’s announcement came just a day after Twitter banned Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene’s personal account. Paul says that had nothing to do with the timing of his announcement.

“I’d written the op-ed a week or two before and I’ve been sort of having my own battles with YouTube for over a year now,” Paul said. 

He said his videos will now be posted to a social media site popular with conservatives called Rumble. 

“They advertise that they’re a neutral platform that they’re not going to edit,” Paul said. “I don’t think they advertise themselves as right-wing either. I think a lot to of right-wing people have gone there.” 

Paul said that he understands that YouTube is a private company and has the right to enforce their policies. 

“Private companies have their own First Amendment rights,” said Kevin Goldberg, a First Amendment specialist with the nonpartisan group the Freedom Forum. 

Goldberg explained that groups like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook all have their own right to “say and share and carry messages they believe in.” 

“The idea of whether it is misinformation or not we can debate,” said Goldberg adding that he would like to see more speech on these platforms. “Let’s engage in the marketplace of ideas.” 

Paul says that this is just the beginning of what he call his “exodus from Big Tech.”