German court finds YouTube’s removal of COVID videos illegal and YouTube must restore the videos

German actors expressed their thoughts and feelings about the Chinese coronavirus on YouTube, unfortunately YouTube didn’t like their thoughts and so they were censored. But the courts in Germany have decided that YouTube is not the purveyor of the truth and have stopped censoring YouTube.

In Germany, a group of actors shared their thoughts on COVID and government measures regarding COVID:

Dozens of prominent German actors have united as part of the “everything on the table(all on the table) free speech campaign to demand a more open discussion about the Coronavirus and controversial government policies, rules and regulations. Their statements were posted on YouTube in the form of short videos.

In recent months, critical views on the government’s Corona policies and vaccines have been suppressed by the major media.

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“Increasing concern” over political actions

With them everything on the table site, states the group of protagonists, performers, artists: “We are watching with increasing concern the development of political action in the Corona crisis. Many experts have not yet been heard in the public Corona debate. We would like to see a broad, fact-based, open and factual discourse as well as an equally broad discussion about the videos.”

Each actor posted a YouTube video criticizing the current repressive policies. See background here.

German actor Filipp Piatov had a lot to say about YouTube’s actions:

When asked whether the videos did indeed contain controversial content that warrants removal, Piatov said there was none, adding, “A false fact is not grounds for removal.” Otherwise, many video statements from government agencies would also have to be removed.

YouTube “no truth commission”

“YouTube is not a fact-checking platform, not a truth commission to decide what’s right and what’s wrong,” Piatov said. “Who is YouTube? Is it a university? Is it a panel of virologists who sit and watch all these videos and say we’re going to remove it from the 100 million that have been uploaded?”

Yesterday a German court ruled against YouTube.

A group of German artists skeptical and critical of the government’s response to the COVID pandemic and promoting conversations on the topic, active online under the hashtag #allesaufdentisch (literally, “everything on the table”), sued YouTube for the remove their videos – and won in court.

The two videos taken down by the Google giant consisted of interviews artists had with scientists and they didn’t make fun of the censorship, opting for legal action against YouTube.

The Cologne Regional Court has now determined that the removals were unlawful and ruled in favor of the plaintiff with two injunctions, ordering YouTube to restore the videos.

Let’s hope these videos inherit the Streisand effect where they are now more popular due to YouTube’s action.

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