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YouTube to Pull Clips Questioning Authorities on COVID-19 Vaccines

The change is part of a slate of new policies around public health information from Google’s massive video service (REUTERS)Premium
The change is part of a slate of new policies around public health information from Google’s massive video service (REUTERS)

  • The change is part of a slate of new policies around public health information from Google’s massive video service
  • On Tuesday, Facebook Inc., another hotbed for misinformation, said it would block ads that discouraged people from getting vaccines

YouTube will begin taking down videos that spread misinformation about vaccines to treat the coronavirus, the company said on Wednesday.

The new policy applies to clips with content that contradicts “expert consensus" from local health authorities and the World Health Organization.

This includes claims that Covid-19 vaccines will kill people or cause infertility, or that microchips will be implanted in people who get these treatments, the company said. The second example refers to a conspiracy theory that falsely claims Bill Gates plans to inject chips into every vaccinated person.

The change is part of a slate of new policies around public health information from Google’s massive video service, where footage questioning the efficacy of vaccinations have lived online for years. The new rule will not apply to videos about vaccines for other illnesses, a spokesman said.

On Tuesday, Facebook Inc., another hotbed for misinformation, said it would block ads that discouraged people from getting vaccines. Both companies have faced criticism from lawmakers for how they police information about the pandemic, voting and other important topics.

YouTube began suppressing anti-vaccination videos on its site last year. When the pandemic began, YouTube moved to pull videos that disputed the disease’s existence or established facts about it. The company said it has removed more than 200,000 videos for breaking this rule.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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