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DirecTV to drop One America News

DirecTV is dropping far-right cable channel One America News. OAN, a favorite of former President Donald Trump, has been criticized for spreading misinformation about COVID-19, the 2020 presidential election and the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol.

Streaming and satellite network DirecTV didn’t give a reason for the move, saying in a statement Saturday that “following a routine internal review, we do not plan to enter into a new contract when our current agreement expires.”

The contract between One America News owner Herring Networks and DirecTV, one of OAN’s biggest TV distributors, is set to end later this year, The New York Times noted. Only a few major TV distributors carry One America News, the Times said, adding that the channel also streams online and has a popular YouTube presence.

OAN didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the direct aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, OAN posted videos on YouTube falsely claiming that ballots were being tossed and faked. (US officials, including members of the Trump administration, have called the elections “the most secure in American history.”) YouTube stopped showing ads in the OAN videos, removing their ability to generate revenue. The Google-owned video site later temporarily suspended One America News for spreading misinformation related to the coronavirus. The Times noted that OAN has also spread bogus conspiracy theories about who was behind the storming of the Capitol.

The move by DirecTV comes as conservatives continue to claim, without evidence, that right-wing views are being censored by major media-distribution platforms, including social networks like Facebook and Twitter and search engines like Google. The companies behind the platforms have repeatedly denied the assertion, saying they simply take steps against users who’ve violated policies around public safety and related concerns. The left has also criticized the platforms, but from a different direction, saying they aren’t doing enough to remove conspiracy theories and misinformation. CNET

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