YouTube has joined the list of tech giants who have officially taken a stance against the spread of anti-vaccination information and rhetoric.
The Google-owned platform has today announced it will be taking down the channels of several high profile anti-vaccine activists, such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr and Joseph Mercola— in an effort to combat the spread of damaging fake news, specifically in relation to medical misinformation.
Coming under fire in the past for a lack of moderation, YouTube is working to implement a new set of policies that will ban any videos that claim the vaccines developed for Covid-19 are dangerous or ineffective. This is in addition to the banning of content claiming vaccines such as for the flu, measles, mumps and rubella have dangerous side effects or can cause conditions such as autism.
In an official statement, YouTube explains “Vaccines in particular have been a source of fierce debate over the years, despite consistent guidance from health authorities about their effectiveness. Today we’re expanding our medical misinformation policies on YouTube with new guidelines on currently administered vaccines that are approved and confirmed to be safe and effective by local health authorities.”
In response to criticism the platform has taken too long to take action in combatting such controversial content, YouTube has said “We looked to balance our commitment to an open platform with the need to remove egregious harmful content.”
YouTube has removed 130,000 videos for violating Covid-19 vaccine policies in the last year.