YouTube bans COVID-19 vaccine misinformation

YouTube will ban content containing misinformation about coronavirus vaccines, expanding its policy surrounding misinformation about the virus, the company said Wednesday. 

The Google-owned video platform said it will remove any content that includes claims about COVID-19 vaccinations that contradicts information from health authorities. 

YouTube was already removing content with misinformation about the existence and the transmission of the coronavirus, as well as content promoting medically unsubstantiated methods of treatment. The platform said it had removed more than 200,000 videos related to dangerous or misleading COVID-19 information since early February. 

YouTube’s move to expand its policy comes as tech companies grapple with the rampant spread of misinformation online, including false information about the coronavirus pandemic, as a number of drug companies are conducting studies on a vaccine for the virus that has infected more than 38 million people globally, including more than 7.8 million in the U.S. 

Facebook on Tuesday said it would ban advertisements that paint vaccines as unsafe, useless or harmful. 

Facebook’s move to ban COVID-19 vaccine misinformation followed the platform’s decision to block content denying the Holocaust and cracking down on posts pushing the QAnon conspiracy.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki last week stopped short of pledging to ban QAnon on its platform.

“We’re looking very closely at QAnon,” Wojcicki told CNN, when asked about the hesitation to outright ban videos with QAnon conspiracy theories. 

“We already implemented a large number of different policies that have helped to maintain that in a responsible way,” she added. 

The QAnon conspiracy theory alleges, without evidence, that President Trump and his allies are working to expose and execute a cabal of Democrats and media figures who are running an international child trafficking ring.

Tags Coronavirus coronavirus vaccine COVID-19 vaccine Donald Trump Facebook Google misinformation QAnon YouTube

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