WASHINGTON – YouTube will block all anti-vaccine content, moving forward from COVID-19, to include content that alleges that vaccines cause chronic health effects or is false about substances in vaccines have information, it said a blog post on Wednesday.
The Alphabet-owned online video company is also banning prominent anti-vaccine activists, removing several channels, The Washington Post reported Wednesday, citing YouTube’s vice president of Global Trust and Safety, Matt Halprin. These include Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Joseph Mercola, who have long been high-profile figures in the anti-vaccine movement.
The move comes as YouTube and other tech giants like Facebook and Twitter have been criticized for not doing enough to stop the spread of false health information on their sites.
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Even though YouTube takes a tough stance on misinformation, it faces a worldwide backlash. On Tuesday, Russian state-backed broadcaster RT’s German-language channels were removed from YouTube after the company said the channels violated its COVID-19 misinformation policy.
Russia on Wednesday called the move “unprecedented information aggression” and threatened to block YouTube.