YouTube clamps down further on vaccine misinformation

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In a blog post, YouTube said that it’s updating its policies surrounding vaccine misinformation in a bid to tackle vaccine hesitancy while maintaining a degree of freedom on the platform. Content questioning the safety of vaccines, their efficacy, or the ingredients of vaccines will be generally banned from the platform but there will be some exceptions.

To help maintain some freedom of the platform, YouTube will allow content that opens public debate around the scientific process of developing vaccines, content about vaccine policies will be allowed, information about vaccine trials will be allowed and content about historical vaccine successes or failures will be allowed. Furthermore, YouTubers can upload videos about their personal testimonies of taking the vaccine as long as it doesn’t violate other Community Guidelines and as long as the channel doesn’t have a “pattern of promoting vaccine hesitancy”.

Helpfully, YouTube posted a list of examples of content it will not tolerate on its platform, they include:

  • Claims that vaccines cause chronic side effects such as:
    • Cancer
    • Diabetes
    • Other chronic side effects
  • Claims that vaccines do not reduce risk of contracting illness
  • Claims that vaccines contain substances that are not on the vaccine ingredient list, such as biological matter from foetuses (e.g. foetal tissue, foetal cell lines) or animal byproducts
  • Claims that vaccines contain substances or devices meant to track or identify those who've received them
  • Claims that vaccines alter a person's genetic makeup
  • Claims that the MMR vaccine causes autism
  • Claims that vaccines are part of a depopulation agenda
  • Claims that the flu vaccine causes chronic side effects such as infertility
  • Claims that the HPV vaccine causes chronic side effects such as paralysis

If you want to review the company’s new guidelines in full, you can do so by checking out the YouTube Help pages. The new rules are effective today so be sure to follow them unless you want content pulled from the platform.

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