YouTube banning vaccine misinformation from platform


FILE – This March 20, 2018, file photo shows the YouTube app on an iPad in Baltimore. Video-sharing tech platform YouTube on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, announced immediate bans on false claims that vaccines are dangerous and cause health issues like autism, cancer or infertility. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

WASHINGTON (KETK) – YouTube announced Wednesday that they are cracking down on anti-vaccine content.

Specifically, content will be removed from the platform if it:

  • Falsely alleges that approved vaccines are dangerous and cause chronic health effects
  • Claims that vaccines do not reduce transmission or contraction of disease
  • Contains misinformation on the substances contained in vaccines

This would include content that falsely says that approved vaccines cause autism, cancer or infertility, or that substances in vaccines can track those who receive them.

According to a blog post on their website, YouTube said they’ve seen “false claims about the coronavirus vaccines spill over into misinformation about vaccines in general.”

With these new guidelines, YouTube is expanding their medical misinformation policies on vaccines that are approved and confirmed to be safe and effective by local health authorities and the World Health Organization.

YouTube Community Guidelines already prohibit certain types of medical misinformation. When COVID-19 hit, the company built on their policies and worked to develop new policies around COVID-19 and medical misinformation.

They’ve already removed over 130,000 videos for violating their COVID-19 vaccine guidelines.

The platform will continue to allow content about vaccine policies, historical vaccine successes or failures and personal testimonies on vaccine (so long as the video doesn’t violate other Community Guidelines or show a pattern of promoting vaccine hesitancy.

“Today’s policy update is an important step to address vaccine and health misinformation on our platform, and we’ll continue to invest across the board in the policies and products that bring high quality information to our viewers and the entire YouTube community.”

Statement from YouTube

Back in May, YouTube took down a channel they said was a major seller of vaccine misinformation days after an Associated Press investigation detailed how they work with other spreaders of false information to make money.

YouTube said it terminated the account because it violated its policies barring ”COVID-19 medical misinformation,” and had three strikes in a 90-day period. YouTube started banning anti-vaccine misinformation in October.

A YouTube spokesperson confirmed to NBC News the new policy included the termination of the accounts of anti-vaccine influencers. Some smaller anti-vaccine channels were still live as of Wednesday morning.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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