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YouTube Is Banning Anti-Vaxx Misinformation & The Biggest Spreaders Are Getting Suspended

Over 130,000 videos have already been removed.

Senior Global Editor
YouTube Is Banning Anti-Vax Misinformation & The Biggest Spreaders Are Getting Suspended
Public Health Agency of Canada

YouTube is cracking down on anti-vaccine misinformation on its platform — but not just content related to COVID-19.

The company announced on Wednesday that it will ban all videos that cast doubt on vaccines that have already been deemed safe by health authorities.

That includes everything from coronavirus vaccines to vaccines for the flu, Hepatitis B and measles/mumps/rubella.

"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," YouTube wrote in a blog post.

"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."

The stance comes as conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccines spread, including falsehoods about microchips, Bill Gates and Nicki Minaj's cousin's friend's testicles.

YouTube also banned channels belonging to some of the biggest anti-vaxx activists, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Reuters reports.

"There is no instance in history when censorship and secrecy has advanced either democracy or public health," Kennedy told Reuters in a statement.

The Alphabet-owned company says it's already removed more than 130,000 videos since last year in an effort to fight COVID-19 misinformation.

"We've steadily seen false claims about the coronavirus vaccines spill over into misinformation about vaccines in general," it said. "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 added that it will not ban personal testimonials about vaccines. It will also allow discussions about vaccine policy, new vaccine trials and the history of vaccines that have succeeded or failed.

The new policy went into effect immediately on Wednesday.

Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.

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