YouTube announced that it would block all COVID-19 anti-vaccine content, moving ahead after its ban on coronavirus vaccines’ misinformation to include material containing false information about other approved vaccines. On Wednesday, the online video-sharing website said that the latest policy would apply to presently administered vaccines confirmed and approved to be safe and effective by World Health Organization and local health officials.
YouTube says it will now block all anti-vaccine content on its platform, including false claims that some vaccines can cause infertility or autism.
Critics say tech companies have allowed health misinformation to go largely unchecked, further contributing to vaccine hesitancy. pic.twitter.com/dogjeFNeGh
— AJ+ (@ajplus) September 29, 2021
Additionally, the expanded policy will see false claims regarding routine immunizations for diseases such as influenza, Hepatitis B, and measles. It would include cases where vloggers who post video content through their accounts have claimed that permitted coronavirus vaccines don’t work or incorrectly linked them to chronic health effects.
Moreover, a spokesman of YouTube said that the social media giant is banning YouTube channels linked with many prominent anti-vaccine activists, including Joseph Mercola and Robert F Kennedy Jr.
Russia’s state broadcaster RT Accused of Violation
YouTube stated that since last year, it removed over one hundred and thirty thousand videos for violating its coronavirus vaccine policies. In addition, on Tuesday, it told German media that it blocked and removed the German language channels of state broadcaster RT of Russia for violating its coronavirus misinformation guidelines.
The video platform said it warned RT before blocking the two channels, but the move from video prompted a threat from Moscow to shut down the video site. YouTube is not only the social media giant struggling with how to handle the spreading conspiracy theories against coronavirus and medical misinformation in general.
This month, Facebook introduced a renewed effort to deal with conspiracy and violent groups, starting down by shutting down a German network spreading coronavirus misinformation. Furthermore, YouTube said that they would take down the content that falsely says that approved COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility, autism, or cancer or that substances in vaccines can track the activities of those who receive them.
YouTube is Expanding Medical Misinformation Policies
YouTube added that it would require some time for their systems to ramp up enforcement entirely with any significant update. In a blog post, the video-sharing platform said that it noticed false claims about coronavirus jabs that fall over into misinformation about vaccines in general. The new policy of YouTube covers long-approved vaccines of different diseases from WHO and local health authorities, for example, those against hepatitis or measles.
The post said that the firm is expanding its medical misinformation policies on YouTube with the latest guidelines on formerly administered vaccines that were confirmed and approved to be effective and safe. In addition, personal pieces of evidence regarding vaccines, new vaccine trials, content about vaccine policies, and historical videos about the success or failures of vaccines will be allowed to remain on the platform.