YouTube Blocks All Anti-Vaccine Content in addition to COVID-19 Misinformation
YouTube said in a blog post on Wednesday that it will block all anti-vaccine content, expanding its ban on false information about the COVID vaccines to include content that contains misinformation about other approved vaccines.
According to YouTube's policies, claims that the flu vaccine causes infertility and that the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella, can cause autism are examples of content that will not be allowed.
According to a YouTube spokesperson, the online video company owned by Alphabet is also banning channels associated with several prominent anti-vaccine activists, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Joseph Mercola.
"We are united across the world, we will not live in fear, we will stand together and restore our freedoms." Mercola's website stated in a press release.
"There is no instance in history when censorship and secrecy has advanced either democracy or public health," Kennedy said in a statement.
The moves come after YouTube and other tech giants such as Facebook and Twitter were chastised for failing to do enough to combat the spread of false health information on their platforms.
Even as YouTube takes a firmer stance against misinformation, it is facing backlash from users all over the world. The German-language channels of Russian state-backed broadcaster RT were removed from YouTube on Tuesday, citing a violation of YouTube's COVID-19 misinformation policy.
Russia slammed the move as "unprecedented information aggression," on Wednesday, threatening to block YouTube.