YouTube on Wednesday said it would start banning videos containing misinformation on potential COVID-19 vaccines, including videos that make claims contradicting guidance from the World Health Organization and local health officials.
Moving forward, YouTube will purge videos that claim a vaccine would kill people or make them infertile. YouTube will also ban videos that claim vaccines are a stealth way to implant microchips on people.
Videos that voice “broad concerns” about a potential COVID-19 vaccines will still be allowed on YouTube, a rep told Reuters.
The decision expands on an already existing YouTube policy to crack down on “medically unsubstantiated” claims about the pandemic. Since February, YouTube said it has removed more than 200,000 videos for making bogus or dangerous claims about COVID-19.
YouTube’s policy update comes after the WHO has faced some pushback, including from President Trump, over its early response to the pandemic, with critics saying the organization was too reliant on data from the Chinese government. (WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus pushed back against those claims in April.)
.The Google-owned video giant expanded its COVID-19 crack down one day after Facebook said it would no longer allow ads that discourage vaccinations. “If an ad explicitly discourages someone from getting a vaccine, we’ll reject it,” Facebook’s executives Kang-Xing Jin and Rob Leathern said on Tuesday.