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YouTube bans high-profile anti-vaccine accounts


Anti-vaccine protesters stage a protest outside of the San Diego Unified School District office to protest a forced vaccination mandate for students on September 28, 2021 in San Diego, California.

Getty images – YouTube has banned anti-vaccine accounts to help strengthen its misinformation policies around vaccinations.| Getty Images

Google-owned YouTube banned prominent anti-vaccine accounts in an effort to strengthen its policies on misinformation around vaccines, the company said in a blog post on Wednesday. The company will ban all misinformation about vaccines that have been confirmed safe by the World Health Organization or local authorities.

Social media companies have said since the beginning of the pandemic that they’re trying to stop the spread of coronavirus misinformation. As companies attempt to manage the torrent of content and uploads they receive, falsehoods persist.

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As part of the crackdown, a YouTube spokesperson confirmed it removed pages associated with high-profile misinformation spreaders like Joseph Mercola, Erin Elizabeth, Sherri Tenpenny and the Children’s Health Defense Fund, which is associated with Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Until now, YouTube banned videos that said the coronavirus vaccine was ineffective or dangerous. It will now block misinformation spreading about any vaccine, including the MMR vaccine that protects against rubella and measles.

The company stated that false claims regarding the coronavirus vaccines have been spreading to misinformation concerning vaccines all over the world. “We are now at the point when it is more crucial than ever to extend the COVID-19 work to other vaccines.

However, it can feel like a game where you have to whack-amole your way through misinformation.

Moderators may remove a post or account only for it to pop back up later, as was the case with the “Plandemic” conspiracy video that went viral on Facebook and YouTube last year. YouTube claims it has taken down more than 130,000 YouTube videos that violated its Covid vaccination policies in the past year.

YouTube claimed that it has exceptions to its updated guidelines. YouTube said it will accept videos about vaccine policies and trials as well as historical successes or failures. The company will accept personal testimonials on vaccines as long as they don’t violate the Community Guidelines and the channel does not promote vaccination hesitancy.

The Washington Post first reported YouTube changed their policy.

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