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YouTube Update: Vaccine Misinformation Banned From Platform

Terri P

YouTube has updated its policy to include restrictions on vaccine-related content that goes against official health authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO). 

 

In a recent update, YouTube has released their Vaccine Misinformation Policy, which states that YouTube no longer allows content that poses serious risk of harm by the spreading of misinformation, including content that “contradicts local health authorities’ or the WHO’s guidance on vaccine safety, efficacy, and ingredients.”

 

This follows a 2020 content ban on Covid misinformation, during which 130,000 videos were removed from the platform. The new policy covers misinformation regarding all vaccines, such as measles, and not just COVID-19 vaccine.

 

Earlier this year both Facebook and Twitter implemented consequences for accounts that create and share misinformation content.

What Type of Content Does This Apply To?

 

Types of content that is no longer allowed under the new policy include:

 

  • Vaccine safety: content alleging that vaccines cause chronic side effects, outside of rare side effects that are recognized by health authorities

  • Efficacy of vaccines: content claiming that vaccines do not reduce transmission or contraction of disease

  • Ingredients in vaccines: content misrepresenting the substances contained in vaccines

YouTube has provided a full list of examples of content that will no longer be allowed under the new policy. However, they have noted that there are certain contexts in which restricted topics may be allowed, including educational, artistic, or testimonial content. Testimonial content refers to users sharing their experiences with the vaccine and any symptoms they may have experienced.

What Does This Mean For My Content?

If you have posted a video that violates YouTube’s updated Vaccine Misinformation Policy, your video will be removed and you will receive an email regarding the matter. First-time violations will receive a warning, after which strikes will be applied to the offending channel. If a channel receives 3 strikes within a 90 day period, the channel will be terminated. The new policy also states that, “We [YouTube] may also terminate your channel or account after a single case of severe abuse, or when the channel is dedicated to a policy violation”

Ensuring that your content does not violate the new policy is key. Be sure to provide full context in your description box if you are creating content for educational, artistic, or testimonial purposes to avoid having your content removed. If your content has been removed and you feel that your content does not violate the new policy, you can reach out to YouTube directly via the Creator Studio.

Creating Responsible Content

If you’re concerned about whether or not your content violates YouTube’s new Vaccine Misinformation Policy, you can learn more about the restrictions here