By Javan Flowers
“Content that falsely alleges that approved vaccines are dangerous and cause chronic health effects, claims that vaccines do not reduce transmission or contraction of disease, or contains misinformation on the substances contained in vaccines will be removed,” announced YouTube via its website on Wednesday.
The YouTube Team highlighted that their Community Guideline Policies were crafted with the intention to fight against content that (1) falsely alleges that approved vaccines are dangerous and cause chronic health effects; (2) claims that vaccines do not reduce transmission or contraction of disease; and (3) contains misinformation on the substances contained in vaccines.
The Community Guidelines also targets content that falsely proclaims that approved vaccines cause autism, cancer, or infertility, or that substances in vaccines can track those who receive them.
The Google-owned web giant has always been hyperactive in combatting the spread of misinformation on their site and had already established their Community Guidelines. Since last year, those guidelines have led YouTube to have taken down over 130,000 videos that were found to be in violation their COVID-19 vaccine policies. With the amended policy, it is expected that more videos could be potentially taken down.
These guidelines prohibit certain types of medical misinformation, and attest to their commitment to improving authoritative health information on their platform and to connect people with credible, quality health content and sources.
It is important to note that these guidelines shall not censor public discussion. The company wrote: “There are important exceptions to our new guidelines. Given the importance of public discussion and debate to the scientific process, we will continue to allow content about vaccine policies, new vaccine trials, and historical vaccine successes or failures on YouTube. Personal testimonials relating to vaccines will also be allowed, so long as the video doesn’t violate other Community Guidelines, or the channel doesn’t show a pattern of promoting vaccine hesitancy.”