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YouTube censors vaccine critics

A protester demonstrates outside a Los Angeles school district office. Associated Press/Photo by Damian Dovarganes

YouTube censors vaccine critics

The Google-owned video-sharing site said it will remove any videos claiming current vaccines approved by the World Health Organization are dangerous or cause health issues. Some YouTube users who criticized coronavirus vaccines expanded their content to cover vaccines in general after the site started removing videos questioning the COVID-19 shot last year. Channels that post such videos will be subject to suspension if three violations are reported in a 90-day period.

What will the new rule change? YouTube will flag assertions that vaccines cause chronic side effects such as cancer, autism, or infertility. The new rule covers general content about any approved shot as well as specific content about measles and flu vaccines. The policy allows critical content about vaccines still being tested. Additionally, personal stories about reactions to any vaccine do not violate the rule unless they come from an account already flagged for misinformation posts. The company already removed several accounts on Wednesday, including some connected with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Joseph Mercola, and the Children’s Health Defense Fund, all prominent COVID-19 vaccine critics.

Dig deeper: Read Megan Basham’s report in Muse about YouTube pulling a panel discussion about COVID-19 practices with Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a WORLD reporter and a graduate of the World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College. She resides in Washington, D.C.


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