YouTube, through a blog post on Wednesday, has announced that they will ban accounts and videos that spread harmful vaccine misinformation. This move comes after an earlier crackdown on vaccine misinformation videos. Several accounts received one-week strikes for “medical misinformation”. Videos that went against the narrative “mainstream science” were simply removed. After a while, YouTube lightened up its policy against “anti-vax” content. This does not mean “anti-vax” content was totally allowed on the platform.
YouTube claims they’ll be targeting videos that say vaccines do not reduce transmission or contraction of disease. The wording of that particular statement is interesting because they do not specify which vaccine this would apply to. The blog post suggests that this rule will apply to all vaccines, not just the most controversial one dominating the current news cycle. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky publicly stated that the main vaccine in question does not prevent transmission anymore. YouTube also says they will remove videos that say vaccines cause cancer, infertility, and autism. And, of course, any content that claims trackers are implanted into the body by a vaccine will be deleted.
Since the inception of the crackdown against anti-vax videos, YouTube has deleted over 130,000 of them. There is also a category called “borderline videos” that don’t quite violate the new terms of service but are still judged as harmful. YouTube admits to down-ranking these videos. This means that they will appear less in search and in the recommended section adjacent to other videos. YouTube states that their revitalized push against vaccine “misinformation” is not political, but that is hard to believe once all the facts are laid out on the table.
Evidence of political pressure placed on YouTube’s back is circumstantial but still relevant. Heads of social media giants have testified before Congress on numerous recent occasions. The topic of discussion at these “Big Tech hearings” is usually how misinformation is regulated, punished, and/or eliminated. This is because the Biden Administration is increasingly becoming frustrated with vaccine hesitancy. So the infinite wisdom of Big Government points the finger at Big Tech because of popular influencers who spread “misinformation” about vaccines. Jen Psaki even quoted an independent think tank-style operation that named nine Facebook influencers pushing the majority of anti-vaccine rhetoric.
YouTube banned three “major” accounts on their platform, including Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. for pushing vaccine misinformation. It is not clear if their names were included in a private company’s McCarthy-style hit-list. However, if information like that surfaces then no one should be surprised. The Federal Government is not a very intelligent bunch of people. Maybe the underlings are, but the leadership is not. They think the solution to vaccine hesitancy is to attack the most popular people on the internet. When in reality, these creators and their videos would not be popular if there were not already vaccine-hesitant people searching for that content. This is akin to blaming divorce videos on YouTube for a decline in marriage. If a person watches a divorce video, that was probably already on their mind beforehand.
Managing harmful vaccine content on YouTube
YouTube Will Remove Videos With Misinformation About Any Vaccine – Bloomberg
YouTube Bans Anti-Vaccine Misinformation – The New York Times
YouTube bans accounts with vaccine misinformation | TheHill
Sage Steele says she only took vaccine because of ESPN’s ‘sick’ and ‘scary’ mandate | TheHill