YouTube bans videos questioning vaccine claims

FILE - This March 20, 2018, file photo shows the YouTube app on an iPad. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

YouTube is wiping vaccine skeptics from its popular video-sharing platform.

The ban on so-called vaccine misinformation, announced in a blog post on Wednesday.

YouTube’s new rules will prohibit “misinformation” about any vaccine that has been approved by health authorities such as the World Health Organization and are currently being administered. The platform had already begun to crack down late last year on what it calls false claims about the COVID-19 vaccine.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, will delete videos and users who claim vaccines are dangerous or cause health issues, like cancer, infertility or autism. As of Wednesday, popular anti-vaccine accounts, including those run by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., were kicked off YouTube.

“We’ve steadily seen false claims about the coronavirus vaccines spill over into misinformation about vaccines in general, and we’re now at a point where it’s more important than ever to expand the work we started with COVID-19 to other vaccines,” YouTube said in a prepared statement.

The new rule will apply to general claims about vaccines as well as statements about specific vaccines, such as those given for measles or flu.

Claims about vaccines that are being tested will still be allowed. Personal stories about reactions to the vaccine will also be permitted, as long as they do not come from an account that has a history of promoting “vaccine misinformation.”