YouTube blocks all anti-vaccine content

A YouTube logo seen at YouTube Space LA in Playa Del Rey, Los Angeles, California, United States on October 21, 2015. REUTERS / Lucy Nicholson

WASHINGTON, Sept.29 (Reuters) – YouTube will block all anti-vaccine content, going beyond its ban on false information about COVID vaccines to include content containing misinformation about other approved vaccines, he said. he said Wednesday in a blog post.

Examples of content that will not be allowed on YouTube include claims that the flu vaccine causes infertility and that the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella, can cause autism, according to YouTube policies.

The online video company owned by Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) also bans 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 did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The measures come as YouTube and other tech giants like Facebook Inc. (FB.O) and Twitter Inc. (TWTR.N) have come under fire for not doing enough to stop the spread of false information about the health on their sites.

But even as YouTube takes a stronger stance on disinformation, it faces backlash around the world. On Tuesday, Russian state-backed broadcaster RT’s German-language channels were removed from YouTube as the company said the channels violated its COVID-19 disinformation policy.

Russia on Wednesday called the move an “unprecedented information aggression” and threatened to block YouTube. Read more

Reporting by Susan Heavey in Washington and Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by Mark Porter

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

About Norma Wade

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