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YouTube bans anti-vaccination videos from running advertisements
YouTube said Friday that it will ban channels that promote content that advocates against vaccinations from running advertisements.
A spokesperson for the company told BuzzFeed News in a statement that such content conflicts with its policy prohibiting the monetization of videos that contain "dangerous and harmful" material.
"We have strict policies that govern what videos we allow ads to appear on, and videos that promote anti-vaccination content are a violation of those policies," the representative told the outlet.
"We enforce these policies vigorously, and if we find a video that violates them, we immediately take action and remove ads," they added.
According to BuzzFeed, the move comes after a string of companies pulled their advertisements from such videos in recent days.
Seven advertisers told the publication that they reached out to YouTube after discovering that their advertisements appeared on videos with titles like "Mom Researches Vaccines, Discovers Vaccination Horrors and Goes Vaccine Free," which advocates against vaccinating children.
The advertisements also reportedly appeared on content published under other channels that advocate against vaccination, including VAXXED TV and iHealthTube, BuzzFeed reported. Those channels have since been demonetized by YouTube or prevented from running advertisements, according to the outlet.
One health tech company, Nomad Health, told BuzzFeed that it was "not aware of our ads running alongside anti-vaccination videos" and "does not support the anti-vaccination movement," adding that it would "take action to prevent it from happening in the future."
A spokesperson for Vitacost, a vitamin company that also reportedly had its advertisements featured on similar content, told the publication that it "pulled all YouTube advertising on Tuesday morning when we noticed content issues."
"We had strict rules to prevent our ads from serving on sensitive content and they were not effective as promised," the spokesperson said.
"We will continue to remain off of the platform until those changes are made and are proven to be effective by other advertisers," they added.