Tech & The Web

YouTube Bans Vaccine Misinformation

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YouTube announced this week an expanded ban against vaccine misinformation, beyond just videos that target COVID-19 shots.

YouTube said it will crackdown on what it calls “harmful vaccine content” on its platform. To do so, it is expanding its policies on vaccine misinformation.

In the last year, YouTube removed more than 130,000 videos that violated its policies about COVID-19 vaccines alone.

Its new assault on vaccine information, announced in a company blog post, expands the restrictions to non-COVID-19 vacines.

“We’ve steadily seen false claims about the coronavirus vaccines spill over into misinformation about vaccines in general, and we’re now at a point where it’s more important than ever to expand the work we started with COVID-19 to other vaccines,” the post states.

Examples of the crackdown on vaccine misinformation will include the targeting of:

  • Content that falsely alleges that approved vaccines are dangerous and cause chronic health effects;
  • Claims that vaccines do not reduce transmission or contraction of disease;
  • Claims that contain misinformation on the substances contained in vaccines.

“This would include content that falsely says that approved vaccines cause autism, cancer or infertility, or that substances in vaccines can track those who receive them,” YouTube says.

A YouTube spokesperson confirmed to NBC News the new policy included the termination of the accounts of anti-vaccine influencers.

It’s about time.

I realize some will complain about the loss of “freedom of speech.” It isn’t.

Too many people seem to have no idea what freedom of speech means.

You can’t legally barge into someone’s home and scream whatever message is on your mind. Likewise, freedom of speech doesn’t give you complete autonomy on a privately-owned website.

YouTube has every right to fight off content that goes against medical experts. They have every right, for that matter, to determine who qualifies as a “medical expert.”

It’s just sad that there seem to be so many armchair physicians out there who will only listen to those who say what they want to hear.

5 Comments

  1. You are against contrasting views? Plenty of doctors are cautious or even against the shot. It doesn’t work as effectively as they claim and with the CDC becoming a political organization instead of what it was meant for, these views need to be heard.

    Are they really private if the government has such a large role in it?

    1. I’m not against contrasting views. I’m against conspiracy theories that present opinion as fact without proper research — and in some cases with no data whatsoever.

      You say “it doesn’t work effectively as they claim.”

      How do YOU know that? Are you a physician? Are you an epidemioloist? What research have YOU done?

      1. Sorry, we’re not talking about Israel.

        We’re talking about a private website making the decision they have the right to make: to restrict unverified and sometimes even false information being spread through their own platform that could negatively impact the public’s health by discouraging people from getting vaccinated against a virus that has already killed 700,000.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.