YouTube on Wednesday said it was expanding it policies around medical misinformation to ban content about vaccines that “poses a serious risk of egregious harm.” The video giant already prohibited , but the updated polices cover all “currently administered vaccines that are approved and confirmed to be safe and effective” by local health agencies and the World Health Organization.
“Working closely with health authorities, we looked to balance our commitment to an open platform with the need to remove egregious harmful content,” the company said in a blog post. “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.”
YouTube specifically said it wouldapproved vaccines cause chronic health effects such as “autism, cancer or infertility” as well as videos that allege “substances in vaccines can track those who receive them.” YouTube said its updated policies cover specific vaccines, such as for measles or Hepatitis B, as well as general statements about vaccines. The company also noted that its removed over 130,000 video for violating its COVID-19 vaccine policies since last year.
The policy change goes into effect Wednesday, though YouTube said will take time to ramp up enforcement.