YouTube said on Wednesday that it had terminated accounts associated with Dan Bongino, a popular right-wing radio and Fox News host, nearly two weeks after it first suspended his channel for violating its Covid-19 misinformation policy.
A former New York City police officer and Secret Service agent turned pundit, Mr. Bongino is a vocal critic of vaccine mandates. His posts are consistently among the most read on Facebook. On YouTube, his main Dan Bongino channel had 882,000 subscribers, according to Social Blade, a social media analytics firm.
In a statement on Wednesday, YouTube said one of Mr. Bongino’s accounts had been issued a weeklong suspension on Jan. 14 after he posted a video saying cloth and surgical masks were useless in stopping the spread of Covid — a false claim that violated the company’s misinformation policy.
Last Thursday, before the seven-day suspension had elapsed, a second account associated with Mr. Bongino posted another video that repeated his claim about the efficacy of masks. This again violated the misinformation policy and broke Google’s terms of service for trying to circumvent the original suspension by posting content on a separate channel.
After Mr. Bongino posted another video on Tuesday — while his second suspension was still active — YouTube decided to remove both of his channels permanently for trying to skirt the company’s rules.
“We terminated Dan Bongino’s channels for circumventing our terms of service by posting a video while there was an active strike and suspension associated with the account,” YouTube, a unit of Google, said in a statement. The company clarified that Mr. Bongino was not allowed to use, own or create any other YouTube channels.
Mr. Bongino did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
Last week, Mr. Bongino posted a podcast episode titled “I’m Daring YouTube to Do This.” On the show, he pledged to keep posting videos with his claims about masks, and he dared the company to take action.
In a video on Rumble, a YouTube competitor popular among right-wing audiences, Mr. Bongino showed an email that he claimed was sent to a YouTube official. In the email, he wrote that he knew it was only a “matter of time” until YouTube tried to “silence” him.
“I anxiously waited for this moment,” he wrote. Mr. Bongino also said that he was an investor in Rumble and that he had twice as many followers there as on YouTube. “I dare you to do something about it.”
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