Video sharing platform YouTube has said it is banning videos containing misinformation about coronavirus vaccines, in an expansion of the service’s current rules regarding falsehoods and conspiracy theories about the pandemic.
“A Covid-19 vaccine may be imminent, therefore we’re ensuring we have the right policies in place to be able to remove [related] misinformation,” YouTube said in a statement on Wednesday.
Any content featuring claims about Covid-19 vaccines that contradict the consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organization will now be banned on the Google-owned video platform.
This includes any suggestions that the vaccine “would kill people, cause infertility or involve microchips being implanted in people,” YouTube said.
General discussions in YouTube videos about “broad concerns” over the vaccine would remain on the platform, a spokesman told Reuters.
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In February this year, YouTube removed ads on channels that promoted anti-vaccine content, warning that it would prevent future advertising on any videos that endorse those views.
Then in April, YouTube banned conspiracy theories falsely linking Covid-19 to 5G networks. That move was in turn followed by the ban on any coronavirus-related content that “directly contradicts” World Health Organization (WHO) advice and is “medically unsubstantiated.”
Wednesday’s decision to prevent “misinformation” about Covid-19 vaccines came after another social media giant, Facebook, banned anti-vaccine ads and said it would encourage users of the platform to get the flu jab.
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