A YouTube spokeswoman has come out and said the Youtube is not taking COVID misinformation lightly. The company have pulled down videos on their platforms that contradict vaccine information from the World Health Organization (WHO) or health authorities such as the NHS.
Late last year, Youtube banned banned vaccine misinformation in a bid to clamp down on attempts to discredit the jabs.
It added that in the past year, it had removed more than 800,000 videos for coronavirus misinformation. That figure covers more than just vaccines, but wider “medically unsubstantiated” claims about the virus. Compared to social media giants in the same space, Youtube seems to be taking COVID misinformation head on.
The context of the videos that were taken down include false claims that the vaccine kills people, causes infertility, or contains a secret microchip that will be implanted into recipients. In the early stages of the pandemic, YouTube was home to many conspiracy theories about the disease and even false claims of non-existent “cures”. Despite its ban on such content, finding and deleting it remains a struggle for YouTube and a consortium of other social media platforms.
In recent months, Social media platforms, Youtube included, have been at the centre of a storm on how much they have allowed falsehoods about the vaccine to proliferate on their platforms. YouTube has generally been ahead of the curve when it comes to introducing policies to tackle this. But, the minority of committed activists who spread harmful anti-vaccine content online are using increasingly sophisticated tactics that pose problems for a video platform such as YouTube.
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