YouTube will block all anti-vaccine content, moving beyond COVID-19 to include content that alleges vaccines cause chronic health effects or contains misinformation on the substances in vaccines, it said in a blog post on Wednesday.
The online video company owned by Alphabet Inc is also banning prominent anti-vaccine activists, taking down several channels, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday, citing YouTube’s Vice President Of Global Trust and Safety Matt Halprin. These include Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Joseph Mercola, who have long been high-profile figures in the anti-vaccine movement.
The move comes as YouTube and other tech giants like Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. have been criticized for not doing enough to stop the spread of false health information on their sites.
Even as YouTube takes a tougher stance on misinformation, it faces backlash around the world. On Tuesday, Russian state-backed broadcaster RT's German-language channels were deleted from YouTube, as the company said the channels had breached its COVID-19 misinformation policy.
Russia on Wednesday called the move "unprecedented information aggression," and threatened to block YouTube.
© 2023 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.