Yesterday, Verizon Fios announced that it will drop far-right One America News Network (OANN) from its channel lineup when its current contract expires at the end of July. The move leaves the highly controversial outlet without a major carrier. OANN regularly feeds its viewers disinformation and conspiracy theories – including false and misleading information about the COVID-19 pandemic, the results of the 2020 election, and the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.
Common Cause and a coalition of civil-rights, human-rights and media-justice organizations have pushed the major carriers to drop OANN since 2021. Last year, the coalition organized a letter to the CEOs of AT&T and DirecTV urging their companies to sever business ties with the network. After more than 170,000 people signed a petition calling on AT&T and DirecTV to cut all ties with OANN. DirecTV dropped the channel from its lineup later that month.
When the Verizon contract expires at the end of this month OANN will only be available through a variety of smaller pay-tv providers and streaming services.
Statement of Yosef Getachew, Common Cause Media and Democracy Program Director
With the move by Verizon Fios, One America News Network will be left without a major carrier to spread its often harmful and dangerous disinformation and baseless conspiracy theories. This is a welcome change but long overdue.
OANN has spread lies that have hindered U.S. efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, undermined Americans’ faith in our elections, and fed the Big Lie narrative that led to a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.
We hope those remaining small pay-tv providers and streaming services still carrying OANN will follow suit and deprive the outlet of any platform to spread harmful conspiracy theories that have done real world harm. No company should profit from spreading content that endangers our democracy.