YouTube bans excessive profile anti-vaccine accounts


Anti-vaccine protesters hold a protest outside the San Diego Unified School District office to celebrate Jan.

Sandy Huffaker | Getty Images

Google’s own YouTube banned prominent anti-vaccine accounts to bolster its vaccine misinformation policy, the company said in a blog post on Wednesday. It will also ban misinformation about any vaccines that have been confirmed to be safe by the World Health Organization and local health authorities.

Social media companies have stated since the pandemic began that they are trying to stop the spread of misinformation about the coronavirus. But falsehoods continue to prevail as companies struggle to control the constant deluge of posts and uploads on their platforms.

As part of the raid, a YouTube spokesperson confirmed the removal of sites associated with high profile misinformation distributors such as Joseph Mercola, Erin Elizabeth, Sherri Tenpenny, and the Children’s Health Defense Fund, which is linked to Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

So far, YouTube banned videos that said the coronavirus vaccine was ineffective or dangerous. The new policy will block videos that spread misinformation about all popular vaccines, such as the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella.

“We have continually seen false claims about the coronavirus vaccines spreading into misinformation about vaccines in general, and we have now come to a point where it is more important than ever to do the work we started with COVID-19 have to expand to other vaccines, “the company said.

But fighting misinformation can be like playing with a mole.

Moderators are only allowed to remove a post or account so that it can reappear later, as was the case with the “Plandemic” conspiracy video that went viral on Facebook and YouTube last year. YouTube said it removed more than 130,000 videos in the last year for violating its Covid vaccine guidelines.

According to YouTube, there are exceptions to the new guidelines. The company will allow videos of vaccine policies, trials, and historical vaccine successes or failures. It will also allow face-to-face vaccine testimonials “as long as the video doesn’t violate other community guidelines or the channel doesn’t show a pattern that encourages vaccine reluctance”.

The Washington Post first reported on YouTube’s new policy.

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