Skip to main content

YouTube is finally cracking down on anti-vaccine content

YouTube Axon 10 Pro
YouTube Axon 10 Pro (Image credit: Jason England / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • YouTube is cracking down on videos spreading misinformation about all vaccines.
  • Any video that falsely alleges that vaccines are dangerous and ineffective, or contain misinformation about a vaccine will be removed.
  • The Google-owned video platform has taken down 130,000 videos so far over violation of its COVID-19 vaccine policies.

YouTube is expanding its medical misinformation policies with new guidelines on approved vaccines. The updated policy aims to address vaccine-related misinformation on its platform.

The new guidelines will apply not just to content about COVID-19 vaccines, but also routine immunizations like for measles and Hepatitis B. YouTube claims to have removed more than 130,000 videos for violating its COVID-19 vaccine policies since last year.

Any video that falsely alleges that approved vaccines are dangerous and could lead to adverse health effects, claim that vaccines are not effective in reducing transmission of a disease, or spread misinformation about the substances contained in vaccines will now be removed.

This would include videos that falsely claim that approved vaccines can cause autism, cancer, or infertility, or that vaccines contain substances that could allow the recipient to be tracked. However, the Google-owned video platform has warned that "it will take time" for its systems to fully ramp up enforcement.

Important exceptions to the new guidelines include content related to vaccine policies, new vaccine trials, and historical vaccine successes or failures. YouTube will also continue to allow personal testimonials related to vaccines. YouTube says it has consulted with health organizations and experts across the world in developing its new vaccine policy update.

YouTube has also reiterated its focus on addressing health misinformation and said that it will continue to invest in policies and products to make high-quality information available to viewers.

Russia, however, doesn't appear to be too happy with YouTube's policy update on vaccine content. YouTube took down Russian state-backed broadcaster Russia Today's German channels earlier today for violating its new policy. Russia has now threatened to block YouTube if it doesn't reinstate the channel.

Babu Mohan
Babu Mohan
40 Comments
  • Nice, I'm cool with this.
  • YouTube took down a video of the inventor of the mRNA vaccine. I think I'll get my Vaccine advice elsewhere.
  • They have been banning accounts that speak on natural health and immunity also. Don't be fooled.
  • YouTube is once again performing censorship on its platform and people are cheering. I weep for America.
  • If their liberal ideas would be silenced they would be singing a different tune.
  • They're blocking people for simply speaking facts. Pure fascism.
  • AC should've censored the comment section.
  • "Any video that falsely alleges that approved vaccines are dangerous and could lead to adverse health effects" - So by that account nobody EVER has had a bad response to ANY vaccine? And if you claim otherwise you will be shut down? Wow.
  • Statement 1: "Don't take this vaccine because THIS BAD THING can happen to you". Statement 2: "This vaccine has been known to cause THIS BAD THING in a select few patients. However, it has been proven safe and effective for the overwhelming majority of the population". The first statement, while technically correct about a possible side effect, does nothing but fear monger and encourage health practices that can be unsafe for the population at large.
    The second statement gives the same facts as the first statement but without the fear-mongering spin and with more informative facts.
    The person who wants to broadcast the first statement has a reckless agenda. Now to be clear, There is no law that says you can't speak or write the first statement or something similar. YouTube is simply saying that they don't want such statements broadcasted via their platform - and that is their right. Free Speech in this country means Freedom from prosecution (and even that has its limitations). It does not guarantee you a right to an audience. So please, take the hyperbole somewhere else, please.
  • Finally a rational thought I'm here.
  • Misinformation? It's more like censorship. Google used to say "do no evil". They've become evil.
  • Their motto was “Don’t be evil”
  • Censorship does not mean Evil. It means find another delivery method or get your kinks from elsewhere.
  • big tech censorship. good to see only a small percentage of folks are falling in line..
  • “When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”
    ― George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings
  • "a Lie would travel from Maine to Georgia while Truth was getting on his boots;”
    - Fisher Ames
  • ☝Irony, considering the prevailing narratives. 😂
  • AC should not have allowed comments on this article. Nothing constructive can result from the comments made here.
  • Were you trying to be ironic? lol
  • appreciate the clarity: AC is toeing the line with Big Brother.
  • Good... The purpose of the internet was to bring cultures and ideas together and make the world closer, informative and understanding. Not to peddle bull***t. YouTube is a private company so its their right.
  • Yes, well said
  • Censorship is cool
  • Everyone should just get the damn shots. Dont come up with all these insane excuses for not getting them. Just admit the truth. You're afraid. I was scared too but I decided to get the jabs even if It killed me. I wanted to protect myself, my family, friends, co- workers, and neighbors. If you die you just do. But you probably won't. Don't let fear keep you from making the right decision.
  • "If you die you just do. But you probably won't." Hmm...you can literally say the same thing about getting COVID. 🤔 It's not a death sentence, you know. In fact, even the risk of hospitalization is only about 2%. Your risk of dying, less than 1%. Of course, you're also correct that the likelihood of dying from a vaccine is similarly small.
    There is no "right" decision. It's just a question of which odds you're more comfortable with.
  • That's been one of the sad things about Covid , freedom of speech has been suppressed.
  • Lol shut the f up clown. Such a drama queen
  • Nah he's right. Keep on drinking the gubmint Kool aid sheep
  • I was patient for over a year, and now I've had enough. Get tested or vaccinated...one or the other. I have no more sympathy for people who are blatantly spreading this virus. And then spreading lies to justify your blatant disregard for human life . Ban all of it, I don't care anymore. I've lost 2 people to covid, and I've had enough. Your freedom doesn't outweigh public safety. Otherwise, try getting pulled over intoxicated or not wearing a seatbelt and see what happens.
  • Both vaccinated and unvaccinated people are spreading the virus, so hatred of humanity is not a sound option. I do like the idea of testing, but it has to be universal and daily...because both vaccinated and unvaccinated people are spreading the virus.
  • Yeah I don't buy that at all. Vaccinated people are much more likely to wear a mask, much more likely to keep distant, and much more likely to isolate if infected, and therefore much less likely to spread the virus. Your faulty assumption may help to make you feel better, but it's likely more misinformation.
  • I'm vaccinated and I am not wearing a mask. I am done with the BS and just living my life as I see fit.
  • I have my first shot but im really thinking about taking my second. With all the mixed articles out there you don't know what to believe anymore and the dam politicians are to blame. If could believe one dam word that comes out of their greedy mouths their wont be so much confusion.
    They brought this upon themselves not the virus but the rest they came with the virus.
  • I'm not sure why the author thinks censorship in a free society is a good thing. He obviously isn't a real journalist because of he were he would be vehemently opposed to any censorship. It's called debate and when many doctors disagree it should be left to free debate. Depriving people of information will never end well if we want to keep our freedoms. Please reread Animal Farm and 1984!
  • YouTube is simply trying to reduce the amount of spurious information on its platform. This includes disinformation and info that isn't backed up by hard science. I'm not certain why you think that the satirical and fictional works of Orwell have much relevance here.
  • Well, if the "hard science" (which has been flip-flopping worse than a dying fish this year) can't make its own persuasive arguments, silencing dissenting views (often also backed by science) does nothing for trust. In the US, for example, the time-proven concept of natural immunity no longer exists in scientific circles. It does in every other country in the world. So ultimately, we have to pick our scientists.
  • By natural immunity lets be clear you mean developing immunity by having the disease? Yeah that's a great choice. Texas is using that method extensively as we speak. Our local hospital is unable to take any more Covid cases no matter how sick they are. They scramble trying to find an empty bed within 2 hundred miles. It's a freakin mess. You seem to lack an understanding of the scope of the problem with this method. Not everyone gets the sniffles like you did.
    You are such an idiot.
  • Learn to check more than one platform. Rumble, Telegraph, and Parler to name a few.
  • Those aren't Google platforms. And if Google wants to censor search results leading to those sites, they're just making an argument for why they are NOT the best organic search engine (which they're not anyway).
  • Any "content creator" should have seen this coming long ago. If they're not on Gab or Rumble by now, it's their own fault.