In a blog post on Wednesday, YouTube announced it will block all anti-vaccine content, saying it is moving beyond its current ban on false information about the COVID vaccines to include content that contains misinformation about other approved vaccines.
A YouTube spokesperson confirmed it had removed pages of prominent anti-vaxxers who they deem “high-profile misinformation spreaders” including Joseph Mercola, Erin Elizabeth, Sherri Tenpenny and the Children’s Health Defense Fund, which is associated with Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
“We’ve steadily seen false claims about the coronavirus vaccines spill over into misinformation about vaccines in general, and we’re now at a point where it’s more important than ever to expand the work we started with COVID-19 to other vaccines” said the company.
CNBC writes, “Until now, YouTube banned videos that said the coronavirus vaccine was ineffective or dangerous. Under the new policy, it will block videos that spread misinformation about all commonly used vaccines, like the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella.”
YouTube says it has removed over 130,000 videos for violating its policies around the COVID-19 vaccine in the past year. The company also says there are exceptions to the new guidelines. Videos about vaccine policies, trials and historical vaccine successes or failures will be allowed.
Personal testimonials relating to vaccines are also said to 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” the company stated.