According to a company blog post, YouTube is expanding its ban on medical misinformation pertaining to COVID-19 vaccines to now cover all vaccines “approved and confirmed to be safe and effective.”
Any content promoting false claims about vaccines, including specific vaccines such as those for COVID-19 or measles, would violate the company’s new guidelines and be removed. General vaccine misinformation not targeted at a specific inoculation would also violate the new guidelines.
YouTube had previously banned content containing false claims about COVID-19 vaccines under its COVID misinformation policy, according to NPR.
The company says in the last year it’s removed over 130,000 videos for violating its COVID-19 vaccine policies.
“Today, we’re expanding our medical misinformation policies on YouTube with new guidelines on currently administered vaccines that are approved and confirmed to be safe and effective by local health authorities and the WHO,” YouTube said in a blog post.
From the YouTube statement:
Working closely with health authorities, we looked to balance our commitment to an open platform with the need to remove egregious harmful content. 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.
Specifically, 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, or contains misinformation on the substances contained in vaccines will be removed. 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. Our policies not only cover specific routine immunizations like for measles or Hepatitis B, but also apply to general statements about vaccines.
Read the full guidelines here.