New Delhi: YouTube in a blog post has said on Wednesday that it will block all anti-vaccine content on its platform. By this move, the online video platform will go beyond its ban on false information about the COVID vaccines that includes content containing misinformation about other approved vaccines.
Examples of content that won’t be allowed on YouTube include claims that the flu vaccine causes infertility and that the MMR shot, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella, can cause autism.
The Alphabet owned company is also banning channels associated with several prominent anti-vaccine activists including Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Joseph Mercola, a YouTube spokesperson said.
A press email for Mercola’s website said in a statement: “We are united across the world, we will not live in fear, we will stand together and restore our freedoms.”
Kennedy said in a statement: “There is no instance in history when censorship and secrecy has advanced either democracy or public health.”
YouTube and other tech giants like Facebook and Twitter have been criticised for not doing enough to stop the spread of false health information on their sites. They continue to face backlash even as YouTube takes a tougher stance on misinformation.
On Tuesday, Russian state-backed broadcaster RT’s German-language channels were deleted from YouTube, as the company said the channels had breached its COVID-19 misinformation policy.
Russia on Wednesday called the move “unprecedented information aggression,” and threatened to block YouTube.