Video sharing platform YouTube announced on Wednesday that it will remove videos containing COVID-19 vaccine misinformation.According to The Verge, YouTube announced that the content about a vaccine that contradicts information from health experts or the World Health Organisation won’t be permitted. Farshad Shadloo, a YouTube spokesman, said in an email, “A COVID-19 vaccine may be imminent, therefore we’re ensuring we have the right policies in place to be able to remove misinformation related to a COVID-19 vaccine.”
That could include false claims that vaccines implant microchips in people’s bodies, for example, or that they cause infertility. Both rumors are untrue.The new guidelines are an expansion of YouTube’s existing COVID-19 Medical Misinformation Policy, which doesn’t allow videos that falsely suggest the coronavirus doesn’t exist, that discourage mainstream medical care for the disease, or that say the virus is not contagious. The highly contagious virus does exist, and alternative, unproven remedies can be dangerous.
In its email, YouTube said it had removed over 2,00,000 videos related to dangerous or misleading COVID-19 information since early February.Conspiracy theories and misinformation about the new coronavirus vaccines have proliferated on social media during the pandemic, including through anti-vaccine personalities on YouTube and through viral videos shared across multiple platforms.
Although drugmakers and researchers are working on various treatments, vaccines are at the heart of the long-term fight to stop the new coronavirus, which has killed more than a million people, infected more than 38 million and crippled the global economy.The Verge reported that YouTube has demonetised videos that promoted anti-vaccination information in 2019.