YouTube Bans Anti-Vaccine Misinformation – The New York Times

YouTube mentioned on Wednesday that it was banning a number of outstanding anti-vaccine activists from its platform, together with the accounts of Joseph Mercola and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., as a part of an effort to take away all content material that falsely claims that accredited vaccines are harmful.

In a weblog put up, YouTube mentioned that it could take away movies claiming that vaccines don’t scale back transmission or contraction of illness, and content material that features misinformation on the contents of the vaccines. Claims that accredited vaccines trigger autism, most cancers or infertility, or that the vaccines include trackers will even be eliminated.

The platform, which is owned by Google, has had an analogous ban on misinformation in regards to the Covid-19 vaccines. However the brand new coverage expands the principles to deceptive claims about accredited vaccines comparable to these towards measles and hepatitis B, in addition to to falsehoods about vaccines on the whole, YouTube mentioned. Private testimonies referring to vaccines, content material about vaccine insurance policies and new vaccine trials, and historic movies about vaccine successes or failures shall be allowed to stay on the location.

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“Today’s policy update is an important step to address vaccine and health misinformation on our platform, and we’ll continue to invest across the board” in insurance policies that carry its customers high-quality info, the corporate mentioned in its announcement.

Misinformation researchers have for years pointed to the proliferation of anti-vaccine content material on social networks as a think about vaccine hesitation — together with slowing charges of Covid-19 vaccine adoption in additional conservative states. Reporting has proven that YouTube movies typically act because the supply of content material that subsequently goes viral on platforms like Fb and Twitter, typically racking up tens of tens of millions of views.

YouTube mentioned that previously yr it had eliminated over 130,000 movies for violating its COVID-19 vaccine insurance policies. However this didn’t embody what the video platform known as “borderline videos” that mentioned vaccine skepticism on the location. Prior to now, the corporate merely eliminated such movies from search outcomes and suggestions, whereas selling movies from consultants and public well being establishments.

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It is a growing story. Examine again for updates.