YouTube cracks down on anti-vax videos

The video streaming platform YouTube reported today that it is growing its ban on vaccine misinformation. The organisation currently says all bogus information regarding approved vaccines must face elimination from its platform.

YouTube said the extended approach will apply to; “currently administered vaccines approved and confirmed to be safe and effective by local health authorities and the WHO.”

The previous policy of YouTube related to misinformation

The Google-owned platform past policies prohibit the spread of falsehood related to Coronavirus during the pandemic, including treatment and counteraction. That approach had led to actions against some high-profile figures. Including Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who got a suspension for seven days in August for making false claims about the viability of masks.

YouTube is banning channels along with misinformation videos

The online video company is also banning channels. The channels related with numerous prominent anti-vax activists including Robert F Kennedy Jr and Joseph Mercola.

YouTube said content that erroneously says that approved vaccines cause mental imbalance; cancer or barrenness; or that substances in vaccines can track the people who get them will be brought down.

On Tuesday, the video-sharing platform told German media that it had blocked the German-language channels of Russia’s state telecaster RT. It violated YouTube’s Coronavirus misinformation guidelines.YouTube said it had given an admonition to RT before closing their two channels. Yet the move provoked a threat from Moscow to block the video site.

Social Video Platforms under scrutiny

Some social media platforms received criticism for not doing what’s necessary to address vaccine misinformation. The White House in July approached tech organizations to boycott the “disinformation dozen” – a list of 12 individuals.

In August, Facebook said that it discarded many pages and groups identified with the disinformation dozen. Kennedy’s Instagram page also closed down earlier in the year for posting Coronavirus misinformation.

Under YouTube’s new principles, users who post vaccine misinformation will follow the course of its strike strategy, which gives up to three strikes to content that conflicts with its policies posted within a 90-day time frame. The third strike prompts the forever suspension of the user.

Facebook Covid misinformation initiative

The crackdown, reported on September 16, was the principal utilization of Facebook’s new “coordinated social harm” strategy pointed toward halting not only state-supported disinformation campaigns but also blocking users who have mounted an undeniably sophisticated efforts to sideline rules on hate speech or misinformation.

In the case of the German network, almost 150 accounts, pages and groups were connected to the Querdenken movement – a free alliance that has fought lockdown measures in Germany including vaccines and masks campaign, were all taken down.

Also read: The science behind ivermectin

Tik Tok removed videos suggesting Ivermectin

On TikTok, some videos which garnered more than 1,000,000 views, promoting ivermectin as a Coronavirus treatment under hashtags like #ivermectin4covid and #ivermectinworks. TikTok removed all those videos for violating community guidelines and blocked the hashtags. A representative said that TikTok will keep eliminating all misinformation related videos and hashtags. The #ivermectin tag is still up, however, the most popular videos in the tag are of medical care experts exposing falsehood.

Since mid-2020, anti-vax activists have ware transmitting their plans to weaponize fears about Coronavirus and vulnerability about treatments and medicines as an approach to develop their movement. Anti-vax group prospered on YouTube for longer than 10 years, moving to the Google-claimed platform after conventional media quit promoting their agenda. Anti-vax content has become so widespread that vaccine advocacy associations forced them to get off the platform years ago.

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