YouTube Bans Michigan Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Garrett Soldano

Republican gubernatorial candidate in Michigan, Garrett Soldano, says he has been permanently banned from YouTube, where he reportedly built a following by commenting on the state’s reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Detroit News reports, YouTube sent an email to Soldano claiming that his channel included “severe or repeated violations” of the company’s community guidelines. However, they didn’t specify exactly which policies Soldano had violated. The platform’s guidelines prohibit content “that contradicts local health authorities or the World Health Organization’s medical information about Covid-19.” The email also stated, “If we think a channel severely violates our policies, we take it down to protect other users on the platform.” Soldano was offered the chance to appeal the decision.

According to his campaign, Soldano’s YouTube channel, where he broadcasted videos of his opinions on various topics, including Covid-19, had over 9,000 subscribers. Soldano stated, “this is yet another example of Big Tech oligarchs silencing conservative voices. As a grassroots candidate for governor, we rely on platforms to connect with voters and share our message, and our campaign has been targeted repeatedly by liberal social media giants.”

Soldano also started a Facebook page called Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine at the start of the pandemic last year, which grew to over 380,000 followers. Facebook took the page down.

Soldano told media reporters at the time that Facebook had marked it for breaking policies prohibiting information that could spread Covid-19 misinformation. He maintains that the page was “non-violent” and a “positive movement.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Soldano, a chiropractor from Mattawan, has been posting videos on Facebook and YouTube regularly. In many of the clips, he criticizes Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Covid-19 measures. To the dismay of Big Tech and the political establishment, Soldano has stated that requiring children to wear masks is physiologically harmful to them and said that individuals with natural immunity, meaning they have already recovered from Covid-19, do not need to be vaccinated. He also reportedly called masks “face diapers.”

Dr. Farhan Bhatti, a family physician in Lansing and Michigan State Lead for the Committee to Protect Health Care Physicians, applauded the censorship saying, “I applaud YouTube for taking a stand against patently and demonstrably false information about COVID-19, including Mr. Soldano’s reckless disinformation videos.” He continued, “We hope other platforms will follow suit to hold Soldano accountable for his dangerous online communications and help us prevent more deaths due to Covid-19.”

​​Soldano is one of 11 Republicans in Michigan who have created fundraising organizations to run for governor in 2022. The primary election will be held in August. The field includes former Detroit Chief of Police James Craig, who currently leads governor Gretchen Whitmer by 6 points, according to a Trafalgar Group poll. Craig was also heckled and shouted down by left-wing protesters at a recent campaign event.

 

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