Continuing its strong stance against harmful information related to COVID-19, YouTube has announced that it will block all anti-vaccine content. This will include content that contains misinformation about other approved vaccines.
The world’s largest video streaming platform in a blog post entitled Managing harmful vaccine content on YouTube wrote that it was expanding its medical misinformation policies with new vaccine-related guidelines.
Examples of content that won’t be allowed on YouTube include claims that the flu vaccine causes infertility and that the MMR shot, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella, can cause autism, according to YouTube’s policies.
The Alphabet-owned company is also banning channels associated with several prominent anti-vaccine activists including Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Joseph Mercola, a YouTube spokesperson said.
A press email for Mercola’s website said in a statement: “We are united across the world, we will not live in fear, we will stand together and restore our freedoms.“
This move comes in the aftermath of heavy criticism directed at tech giants like Facebook and Twitter for not doing enough to prevent the spread of false information related to COVID-19 and health in general.
However, even though YouTube is clamping down on misinformation, it is still receiving backlash from various sources for restricting the freedom to spread information.
For instance, when Russian state-backed broadcaster RT’s German-language channels were deleted by YouTube for breaching the platform’s COVID-19 misinformation policy, Russia lashed out by threatening to block YouTube and calling the move “unprecedented information aggression”.