YouTube It will begin removing videos that divulge misinformation about vaccines to treat coronavirus, the company said Wednesday.
The new policy applies to clips with content that contradicts the “expert consensus” of local health authorities and the World Health Organization.
This includes claims that COVID-19 vaccines will kill people or cause infertility, or that people receiving these treatments will be microchipped, the company said. The second example concerns a conspiracy theory that falsely claims that Bill Gates plans to inject chips into every vaccinated person.
Change is part of a series of new policies on public health information from Google’s mass video service, where images questioning the efficacy of vaccines have been online for years. The new rule will not apply to videos about vaccines for other diseases, a spokesperson said.
On Tuesday, Facebook Inc., another source of misinformation, said it would block ads that discourage people from getting vaccinated. Both companies have faced criticism from lawmakers for the way they control information about the pandemic, voting and other important issues.
YouTube began suppressing anti-vaccination videos on its site last year. When the pandemic began, YouTube took steps to take videos that disputed the existence of the disease or established data about it. The company said it has removed more than 200,000 videos for violating this rule.