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YouTube announces it will block anti-vaccine content, channels

FILE - This March 20, 2018, file photo shows the YouTube app on an iPad in Baltimore.
FILE - This March 20, 2018, file photo shows the YouTube app on an iPad in Baltimore.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 10:33 AM CDT
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(Gray News) - YouTube has announced a major expansion of its ban of content critical of vaccines considered safe by health authorities.

The video website released new guidelines in its “vaccine misinformation policy,” which states what content and channels will be removed regarding currently administered vaccines.

YouTube will no longer allow content alleging that approved vaccines cause chronic side effects unless those symptoms are recognized by health organizations.

Videos claiming that vaccines don’t reduce the transmission of disease will also be removed from the website.

There will be a crackdown of content related to false information on vaccine ingredients as well.

These restrictions come as public health leaders continue to push the safety of authorized and approved COVID-19 vaccines, but the restrictions apply to all vaccines considered safe and effective by the World Health Organization and other health organizations.

Creators who post content that violates YouTube’s new policy will have it removed. The first violation will likely result in a warning with no penalty to the channel, while repeated violators could lose their channel.

YouTube will make exceptions for certain educational, scientific, artistic or testimonial content as long as it contains some additional context. This includes public demonstrations and firsthand experiences with vaccines.

Some prominent vaccine critics have already had their channels removed from the website, including osteopathic physician Joseph Mercola, who tweeted his displeasure of YouTube’s decision soon after the channel was removed.

YouTube said it consulted with health organizations and experts to form the new policy.

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