YouTube bans misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines

YouTube updates its COVID-19 misinformation insurance policies.

Angela Lang/PJDM

For essentially the most up-to-date information and details about the coronavirus pandemic, go to the WHO website.

YouTube on Wednesday up to date its coverage on COVID-19 misinformation, banning false claims about vaccinations for the respiratory illness brought on by the coronavirus. 

The world’s largest video platform, with greater than 2 billion guests a month, will take away content material that contradicts “professional consensus” from the World Well being Group or native well being authorities. That features baseless claims {that a} vaccine will kill folks or trigger infertility.

Beforehand, YouTube’s guidelines coated misinformation about coronavirus therapies and prevention, however Wednesday’s replace particularly calls out content material on vaccines. The corporate mentioned it is eliminated greater than 200,000 movies containing deceptive COVID-19 info since February.

The coverage change comes as large tech firms face intense scrutiny over misinformation spreading on their platforms. YouTube, owned by Google, has tried to curb false claims about all the things from mail-in voting to medical misinformation, a process that is grow to be extra vital throughout a pandemic. The stakes will proceed to develop as researchers race towards growing a vaccine for the virus. Earlier this yr, YouTube struggled to comprise the unfold of the Plandemic, a video that comprises false details about COVID-19.  

Fb on Tuesday announced it’s banning advertisements that discourage folks from getting vaccines, although the social community will nonetheless permit adverts that advocate for or in opposition to laws or authorities insurance policies about vaccines.

YouTube has had a protracted historical past coping with anti-vax content material. Final yr, the corporate removed advertisements from video channels that discourage vaccinations. YouTube considers anti-vaccination movies to be dangerous content material, and the channels should not have been monetized within the first place, however the movies slipped by YouTube’s filters. 

Lawmakers have already put strain on tech giants to cease the unfold of misinformation regarding vaccinations. Final yr, Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, wrote an open letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai urging him to repair the issue of anti-vax content material on the search big’s platforms.

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Richard Nieva