New York (Trends Wide Business) – YouTube will remove videos that share misinformation about any of the approved vaccines, not just those aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19, the company announced in a blog post Wednesday.
In a statement obtained by Trends Wide Business, YouTube also confirmed that it would remove the channels of “several famous broadcasters of vaccine disinformation” under the new policy, including one belonging to the Children’s Health Defense Fund, a group affiliated with controversial anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (The Children’s Health Defense Fund did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)
The platform will remove videos from users who post misinformation about any “currently administered vaccine that has been approved and confirmed as safe and effective by local health authorities and WHO” and will be subject to YouTube’s “strikes” policy and they could face having their accounts removed, the company said in the blog post.
“This would include content that falsely claims that approved vaccines cause autism, cancer or infertility, or that substances in vaccines can allow tracking of recipients,” YouTube said, adding that the policy applies to specific immunizations such as measles. as well as general statements about vaccines.
New policy with disinformation
The Google-owned platform previously introduced a policy banning COVID-19-related disinformation during the pandemic, including about treatment and prevention.
That policy had already led to actions against some high-profile figures, such as Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who was suspended for seven days in August for making false claims about the effectiveness of masks. (Paul criticized YouTube’s decision, calling the suspension a “badge of honor.”)
YouTube said Wednesday that the misleading claims have spread to other areas of medicine.
The announcement comes at a time when the United States and other countries have struggled to address misinformation that experts say contributes to questions about vaccines. The global rate of daily covid-19 vaccinations has recently dropped to about 26 million daily doses.