YouTube owned by Google, has deleted the famed anti-vaccine accounts in an effort to improve its policy against vaccine misinformation.
According to a blog post published on Wednesday, it would also prohibit misinformation about all vaccinations that the World Health Organization and local health authorities have confirmed to be safe. Since the beginning of the pandemic, social media firms have said that they are working to limit the spread of coronavirus misinformation. However, as corporations attempt to control the continual stream of posts and uploads to their platforms, false information and inputs have continued to proliferate.
A YouTube spokesman verified that pages affiliated with high-profile misinformation spreaders including Joseph Mercola, Erin Elizabeth, Sherri Tenpenny and the Children’s Health Defense Fund, which is linked to Robert F. Kennedy Jr, were deleted as part of the crackdown. YouTube had previously prohibited videos claiming that the coronavirus vaccination was useless or harmful. Videos that propagate misinformation about all frequently used vaccinations, such as the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella, would be blocked under the new policy.
‘We’ve steadily seen false claims about the coronavirus vaccines spill over into the platform 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 company said.
Fighting misinformation, on the other hand, may feel like a game of whack-a-mole. Moderators may remove a post or account, only for it to reappear later, as happened last year with the ‘Plandemic’ conspiracy video that went popular on Facebook and YouTube. Over the previous year, YouTube says it had deleted more than 130,000 videos for breaching its Covid vaccination policy.
There are certain exceptions to YouTube’s new standards, as per the company. Videos addressing vaccination policy, trials and historical vaccine triumphs or failures will be permitted by the corporation. As long as the video doesn’t break other Community Guidelines or the channel doesn’t demonstrate a trend of encouraging vaccination hesitancy, it will also accept personal vaccine testimonies.