Quebec Superior Court judge grants authorization for class action lawsuit against YouTube over COVID-19 censorship on its platform.

Opinion: It just takes one judge to set precedence. Keep fighting these Governments one case at a time. I have little faith as we are playing in their rigged courts with rigged lawyers. Unless the lawyer you hire swears an oath to you they are worthless.

Éloïse Boies, pictured above, is a YouTuber with the channel ‘Élo Wants to Know.’ She has been granted authorization to proceed with a class-action lawsuit against YouTube. The lawsuit alleges that the platform has been censoring content related to the pandemic, vaccines, and the Covid-19 virus that it disagrees with, citing it as medical misinformation.

The plaintiff, Éloïse Boies, who is legally represented by William Desrochers, alleges that YouTube, owned by Google LLC, censored three of her videos. YouTube cited a violation of its platform policy, stating that Boies spread “incorrect medical information contradicting that of local health authorities or the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding COVID-19.”

The class action includes “Any person, natural or legal, who has used or visited YouTube since March 15, 2020, and who has seen their videos directly or indirectly linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, censored or who, having wanted to do so, was unable to read or access these videos while residing in Quebec or having an establishment there.”

According to court documents, the three videos Boies alleges were taken down and censored by YouTube are as follows:

“On or around January 5, 2021, YouTube removed the video titled ‘Censorship.’ In this video, Boies argues that large companies like Amazon, Facebook, and YouTube, along with the government, censor information. She mentions government engagement in propaganda, a doctor’s claim of being pressured to identify COVID-19 as the cause of death, prohibition of all debate, and stigmatization of opponents of the dominant discourse with degrading labels such as ‘anti-vaccines’ or ‘conspiracists.'”

“On or around August 29, 2021, YouTube removed the video titled ‘Why Refuse Vaccines?’. In this video, Boies argues that several scientific experts, including Dr. Robert Malone, oppose COVID-19 vaccination but encounter censorship. She mentions the absence of thorough analysis regarding the risks and benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine, insufficient testing, emerging concerns like fertility issues, censorship of credible individuals, suspicions of a hidden government agenda tied to vaccination passports, and multiple medical and political reasons for vaccine refusal.”

“In November 2022, YouTube removed the interview video featuring Dr. Louis Fouché, a French doctor and spokesperson for the Réinfo Covid Collective. Dr. Fouché criticizes the falsehoods propagated by authorities, such as portraying the pandemic as a deadly epidemic with no solutions besides isolation, distancing, mask-wearing, and vaccination. He argues that the virus is benign for most individuals, there are identifiable vulnerable groups, curative treatments exist but are impeded by authorities, most health measures are ineffective and cause significant collateral damage, and vaccines are neither universally effective nor safe for all age groups. Dr. Fouché also accuses the system of corruption, manipulation of scientific studies and data, and employing social engineering techniques and mass media to shape public perception.”

The plaintiff primarily argues that YouTube’s content control related to the COVID-19 pandemic is an unlawful an intentional infringement on freedom of expression, which is protected by the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

Google contends that it hasn’t breached the Charter since it’s not obliged to offer a space for sharing videos regardless of their content. Additionally, it asserts that its platform is private and can be managed according to its own rules and preferences.

Superior Court Judge Lukasz Granosik mentions in his judgement that “Freedom of expression does not only mean freedom of speech, but also freedom of publication and freedom of creation. Granosik then quotes from the Supreme Court of Canada saying, “it is difficult to imagine a guaranteed freedom which is more important than freedom of expression in a democratic society.”

Judge Granosik concluded after reviewing all the facts in the case that, “If Google manages and controls the content found on the YouTube platform and therefore takes actions in this direction, it cannot immediately deny all responsibility. If it carries out censorship by preventing certain people from posting videos and prevents other people from viewing these same videos, it thus hinders the free circulation of ideas and exposes itself to having to defend its ways of doing things.”

Google is ordered to “pay the plaintiff and each member of the group who published content on YouTube related to the COVID-19 pandemic and was censored, the sum of $1,000 as compensatory damages, and $1,000 in punitive damages with interest at the legal rate, along with additional compensation provided for by law since the filing of the request for authorization to take collective action, as per the court’s decision.”

The judgment further orders that Google must “cease any form of censorship or classification of publications having the effect of preventing YouTube users from propagating and receiving messages or information contradicting those of health authorities, governments, and the World Health Organization, or any other similar body.”

In addressing the concerns regarding viewers and visitors to the YouTube platform who may have been ‘deprived of viewing prohibited content,’ Judge Granosik chose not to rule on an amount for compensatory and punitive damages at this time. Instead, he deferred this decision to be addressed collectively at a subsequent hearing.

What do you think?

Written by Colin

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