Since the start of the pandemic, Google has been fighting against the growing misinformation regarding COVID-19 and vaccines that have been developed in recent months. Both in Spain and in the rest of the world, the most important Google platforms such as YouTube, have been flooded with anti-vaccines and virus deniers. Now, YouTube will take action on the matter forcefully.
YouTube has announced that as of today the platform will remove all anti-vaccine videos and will prohibit its publication. In addition to the medical misinformation guidelines that they already existed previously that strictly prohibited the videos denial of the virus, now the videos that question the vaccines as well as the vaccination process, will be eliminated.
This announcement is part of a much larger purge that has resulted in account lockouts. of activists of the anti-vaccine movement from the United States. In addition, YouTube clearly expresses some examples of hoaxes that, as of today, will be completely removed from the video platform.
YouTube ends the anti-vaccines
According to the latest YouTube policy update Against medical misinformation, YouTube will not allow content “that poses a serious risk of egregious harm by spreading misinformation about currently administered vaccines that are tested and confirmed as safe and effective by local health authorities and the World Health Organization. “.
Specifically, the videos removed and that will be banned from the platform will be those that question the safety, efficiency or even the ingredients of the vaccines. In fact, he cites some examples, such as videos and reports claiming that vaccines cause diabetes, cancer, or that they contain “substances that are not on the ingredient lists for vaccines.”
This is a new step in Google’s fight against misinformation that has reigned on its platform during the course of the pandemic. It previously removed the ability to generate ad revenue from anti-vaccine information accounts, and already in October announced that it would remove disinformation videos about COVID-19. Now this will include the anti-vaccine content.
It should be clarified that there will be some exceptions. YouTube will continue to allow videos of users sharing their vaccination experiences, but if they show “a pattern of promoting vaccine misinformation,” they will be removed. Videos with information that goes against this policy will also be allowed if it includes other contexts, such as expert statements.
In addition to this, the prohibition of this content will include to many more vaccines alike, not just COVID-19. Vaccines that are covered under this protection will include the flu, measles, or rubella vaccines.
Along with this ban, YouTube has carried out the suspension of a series of important accounts that promulgated this kind of content in the United States. Some of the biggest names in the movement who get banned from YouTube are Joseph Mercola and the channel called Children’s Defense Fund, promoted by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
And they are not the only ones. Other sounding names are Erin Elizabeth, Sherri Tenpenny and the Rashid Bhuttar and Ty and Charlene Bollinger channels. The latter were already expelled from the platform a few months ago, but now YouTube has confirmed the ban.
YouTube has already raised concerns about this issue on previous occasions. Matt Halprin, vice president of YouTube’s global security division, told the The Washington Post that this misinformation could contribute to increased mistrust of the COVID-19 vaccine.
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