Youtube enforces its internal policies to ban all content anti-vaccine. The largest digital platform for video of the world already blocked those conspiracy theories who deny the existence of the pandemic of the coronavirus or that they assure that it is an evil plan to control the world population, but now it extends that penalty to anti-scientific content that affects other diseases.
“We will remove content that falsely alleges that the vaccines are dangerous or cause chronic health effects, which claim that they do not reduce the transmission or contraction of diseases or that contain erroneous information about the content of the vaccines“, has explained Google, owner of YouTube, in a statement.
The platform will penalize misinformation about vaccines approved and confirmed as safe by health authorities and by the World Health Organization (who). Among the affected videos there are those who defend, without any scientific support, that vaccines cause autism, cancer, or infertility. YouTube’s tightening of measures could also affect lies about other, older diseases like hepatitis B or rubella. YouTube will continue to allow videos for scientific dissemination and discussion.
A growing problem
Amplified by algorithms of the platform and by the support of politicians such as Jair bolsonaro, this type of hoax has proliferated uncontrollably in the network during the last years until they become dogmas for a part of the population. Although the anti-vaccine movement has been and continues to be ideologically transversal —from leftist to libertarian positions—, formations of extreme right all over the planet are trying to capitalize on that protest to win votes. And in several countries that is translating into an increase in street violence against journalists and scientists.
This problem is accentuating the pressure on tech giants so that they better moderate the content that circulates in their digital spaces. YouTube has claimed to have removed more than 130 anti-vaccine videos in the last year and more than a million that violate its information policies on the coronavirus. Facebook and Twitter they have also activated mechanisms to curb the spread of anti-vaccine conspiracies. However, critics point out that the action of these platforms is not enough in the face of an avalanche of misinformation that does not stop.