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.