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YouTube will take down misinformation about COVID-19 vaccinations

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The social media crackdown on COVID-19 misinformation continues. Next up to the plate: YouTube and its new policies on coronavirus vaccine content.

In an email sent to reporters on Wednesday, YouTube announced it was expanding the company’s to explicitly add new rules about coronavirus vaccine content.

As the world gets closer to a potential COVID-19 vaccine, YouTube wants to curb misinformation surrounding vaccinations. The new policy states that YouTube can remove unsubstantiated claims concerning coronavirus vaccinations that “contradict expert consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organization.”

For example, content that promotes misinformation about the vaccine causing infertility or how it will kill people is no longer allowed on YouTube.  Neither are conspiracy theories insisting that microchips will be implanted in those who get the vaccine.

YouTube’s move comes just one day after Facebook a new policy banning ads that discourage vaccinations.

According to YouTube, the company has removed more than 200,000 videos promoting dangerous coronavirus misinformation since February. The video platform has previously specific types of coronavirus misinformation outright, such as conspiracies tying COVID-19 to 5G.

Before pandemic-related lockdowns hit the U.S. earlier this year, YouTube took a hardline approach to coronavirus content. The company had content about the virus in early March, deeming it a “sensitive topic.”

However, as the coronavirus took over everyday life in the U.S., YouTube pulled back and once again to show ads on videos about the coronavirus.

This latest policy update concerning COVID-19 vaccines shows that the company is keeping tabs on this evolving topic and updating its rules as necessary.





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