YouTube has announced that it will ban misleading COVID-19 vaccine videos, which are contrary to the information provided by health experts or the World Health Organization.
It is following an announcement by Facebook stating the ban of ads that discourage people from getting vaccinated. This ban will not apply to unpaid posts or comments. YouTube has already restricted medically unsubstantiated claims related to COVID-19 on its platform. The video streaming platform has now expanded its policy to include content related to vaccines.
YouTube implements policies to ban misleading COVID-19 vaccine videos on its platform
Google said in its statement that a vaccine for COVID-19 might be close at hand. Hence, it is necessary to ensure that the right policies are implemented to avoid misinformation. Any suggestions that the vaccine will kill people, cause infertility or implantation of microchips in people receiving treatment would be removed from the platform.
During the pandemic, several conspiracy theories and misleading information about the vaccine have spread by anti-vaccine personalities through viral videos on social media.
WHO encouraged by YouTube’s stance on COVID-19 vaccine misinformation
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YouTube has already removed close to two lakh misleading videos about the virus since February. General discussions regarding broad concerns about the vaccine will continue to stream on the platform.
Andy Pattison, the manager of digital solutions at WHO said that they meet weekly with YouTube’s policy team to discuss content trends and misleading videos. He said that WHO was encouraged by YouTube’s latest stance on the COVID-19 vaccine misinformation.
More steps expected by YouTube in the coming weeks
YouTube stated that it would restrict the proliferation of COVID-19 related misinformation on the site, which also includes borderline videos about the vaccines. The spokesperson declined to give examples of such borderline content.
The company also said that it would announce more steps in the impending weeks to ensure authentic COVID-19 vaccine information on the site.