YouTube has announced that any content that is spreading misinformation regarding approved vaccinations is going to be removed. This includes both the ones aiming to prevent Covid-19 as well. The announcement was made on Wednesday via a post on their blog.
A Stricter Hand From YouTube
YouTube’s removal will not only end at content. CNN Business confirms that the video hosting platform will also be removing several famous channels known for spreading vaccine misinformation. The removal will take place under a new policy. The list of channels includes one whose owner is the Children’s Health Defense Fund. This group has an affiliation with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a controversial activist who is anti-vaccine.
In their blog post, YouTube explained that any user posting any misinformation regarding WHO-approved vaccines that are being currently administered will see their videos removed. They will also be subjected to the strike policy of the platform and might be removed altogether.
YouTube further explained that such content includes falsely claiming infertility, autism, or cancer can be caused by approved vaccines. Or, that the vaccines have substances for tracking the recipients. The platform added that this policy will also be applicable for other diseases requiring specific immunization, such as measles.
Kennedy, meanwhile, retorted to the latest decision of YouTube by stating that censorship has never been historically good for public health or democracy.
The platform owned by Google earlier on had introduced another policy seeking to prohibit COVID-19 misinformation at the height of the pandemic. That policy had also resulted in actions against several high-profile personnel such as Rand Paul, the Republican senator from Kentucky. In August, Paul was handed a 7-day suspension for falsely claiming the ineffectiveness of masks.
YouTube’s announcement has been made following experts’ indication that misinformation is encouraging vaccine hesitancy.