YouTube announced that it would remove all videos that contain misinformation about vaccines, as the streaming platform takes extra steps in cracking down harmful content posted during the coronavirus pandemic.
YouTube to Remove Harmful Vaccine Content
On Sept. 28, the streaming service will take down content that has any misinformation about vaccine shots, like claiming that they are dangerous, causes heath defects, or are not effective in reducing the spread of the virus, according to Bloomberg.
YouTube has already banned all COVID-19 vaccine falsehoods, and misinformation about the other types of vaccines are to follow.
Under previous guidelines, the streaming service demoted videos that spread misinformation about non-COVID vaccines and those that promoted vaccine hesitancy and had hidden them from view.
In 2020, YouTube implemented a ban on all COVID-19 vaccine misinformation videos. It has led to more than 130,000 pieces of content being taken down.
The streaming service, which Google owns, has reportedly removed around 1 million videos in the past two years for spreading COVID-19 falsehood.
The global head of trust and safety at YouTube, Matt Halprin, said that vaccine misinformation was a global issue and it had spilled over from spreading fake news about COVID vaccines. Vaccine misinformation appears worldwide, and it also appears in all cultures and countries.
Halprin added that falsehoods around other diseases such as mumps, rubella, and measles vaccine, which has been wrongly connected to causing autism in children, were just a few examples of the misinformation that YouTube will target, according to The Washington Post.
Halprin added that there are still a lot of challenges around rubella or MMR vaccines, and people are still arguing whether it causes autism in children. The science behind the vaccine is very clear that it does not cause autism at all.
Halprin said that the ban on YouTube would also apply to content that claims vaccines contain microchips and causes other illnesses such as infertility and cancer.
In August, YouTube banned US Senator Rand Paul for questioning the effectiveness of masks and vaccines.
Vaccines and Autism
In 2019, a major study affirmed that there was no connection between MMR vaccines and autism in the wake of a pre-COVID upsurge in vaccine skepticism. It was fueled by social media and populism.
A study in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, which the American College of Physicians published, found that there is no support for the claim that vaccines increased the risk for autism after vaccination.
Halprin said that the new guidelines will still allow people to post their testimonies on taking vaccine jabs.
They can discuss vaccine policies and talk about references to historical failures in vaccine programs, as long as the content does not include broad misinformation or promote vaccine hesitancy.
The guidelines will apply to statements about vaccines that are deemed to be misleading, and it will apply to falsehoods about vaccines for diseases like hepatitis.
When searching "MMR vaccine autism" on the streaming site, it will produce hundreds of results containing rebuttals of any link between autism and vaccine.
However, the page also includes a TV interview with Hollywood actor Robert De Niro in which he talked about the documentary "Vaxxed" and how it is a film that people must watch.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by Sophie Webster