YouTube's medical misinformation policies will be expanded beyond the COVID-19 epidemic. Beginning today, the platform will prohibit any content that promotes disinformation about any administered vaccines approved and verified by health authorities.
YouTube's policies have always banned certain types of medical misinformation, particularly those that are directly harmful to people, but today's broad ban targets anti-vaccine disinformation.
According to YouTube:
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.
However, there will be certain exceptions to these new restrictions, especially for information discussing vaccination policies, new vaccine trials, and vaccine history. Additionally, personal testimonies are still permitted.
Matt Halprin, YouTube’s vice president of global trust and safety, said:
We’ll remove claims that vaccines are dangerous or cause a lot of health effects, that vaccines cause autism, cancer, infertility, or contain microchips.