By Ahmad Alsayouf, Staff Reporter, The Pawprint
On September 30, 2021 Youtube stated that it will remove videos that spread misinformation and false claims about COVID-19 vaccines including Pfizer, Moderna, Sinopharm, and AstraZeneca.
The videos released on the platform claim that the vaccines cause cancer, autism and infertility among use. Also, they question the ingredients of the vaccine and the potential risk of having a “tracking device” inserted into your body. The policy also implemented a ban on anti-vax influencers. Youtube stated that around 130,000 videos were reportedly removed from it’s platform in the past year.
A blog post made by Youtube stated that “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 and the WHO”. The company also said that these false claims made against the COVID vaccine would “spill over into misinformation about vaccines in general”.
Many major tech companies such as Twitter or Facebook have been criticized for their actions to counter misinformation spreading on their platforms. This situation was followed by previous action made by Facebook back in February, banning misinformation such as questioning the effectiveness of the vaccine or it’s so-called “symptoms” of it. Twitter made a statement where it would warn users who shared false claims of the vaccine would be banned on it’s platform in March of this year.
In July, Joe Biden blamed social media sites for people’s suspicion of getting the vaccine, urging these companies to discuss this issue. He stated that CoVID misinformation is “killing people”, and that “The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated.”.
Videos published about previous vaccine development, content on vaccine guidelines, personal statements, vaccine examinations on the success or failure of the vaccine will still be available on the platform, Youtube said.
Amid Youtube and Facebooks’ tightened rules, a rival website, Rumble, which is a video sharing website, has become popular for many vaccine-resistant activists to spread information on.
Even though many parent tech companies are cracking down on misinformation being spread on their platforms, many anti-vax pages still spread misinformation on Youtube, with their videos still garnering millions of views today.