YouTube Is Removing All Videos That Spread Misinformation About Vaccines

YouTube announced that it will remove videos that spread misinformation about any approved vaccine, not just those aimed at preventing COVID-19.

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Image via Getty/Olly Curtis/Future

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YouTube announced Wednesday that it will block all anti-vaccine content, including videos that spread misinformation about vaccinations unrelated to COVID-19.

“We’re expanding our medical misinformation policies with new guidelines on currently administered vaccines that are approved and confirmed to be safe and effective by local health authorities and the WHO,” the company said in ​​​blog post.

As part of the ban, YouTube revealed that they’ve already removed pages associated with high-profile misinformation spreaders like Joseph Mercola, Erin Elizabeth, Sherri Tenpenny and the Children’s Health Defense Fund, which is spearheaded by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Alongside anti-vaccine rhetoric associated with the coronavirus, the company will also prohibit content that “spills over into misinformation about vaccines in general.”

“We’re now at a point where it’s more important than ever to expand the work we started with COVID-19 to other vaccines,” the statement said. “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.”

YouTube maintained that there are exceptions to its new guidelines.

“We will continue to allow content about vaccine policies, new vaccine trials, and historical vaccine successes or failures on YouTube,” the company continued. “Personal testimonials relating to vaccines will also be allowed, so long as the video doesn’t violate other Community Guidelines, or the channel doesn’t show a pattern of promoting vaccine hesitancy.”

YouTube believes today’s policy update is an important step to address vaccine and health misinformation on the platform: “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.”

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