This is huge, absolutely huge. After years of YouTube being a safe haven for anti-vaccine messaging, they are finally making a push to eliminate the genre once and for all.
YouTube will block all anti-vaccine content, moving beyond its ban on false information about the COVID vaccines to include content that contains misinformation about other approved vaccines, it said in a blog post on Wednesday.
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, according to YouTube’s policies.
While this is welcome news to those interested in defending vaccines, some are not so happy. Among the banned are channels operated by Dr. Joseph Mercola and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. While Mr. Kennedy had no comment Dr. Mercola’s press release email stated: “We are united across the world, we will not live in fear, we will stand together and restore our freedoms.”
YouTube is the place online to see content from independent producers, as nearly 43 percent of all user globally access the site. Some other statistics to consider when gauging the impact of this decision:
- YouTube currently has 2 billion users. Up from 800 million users in 2012.
- 42.9% of all global internet users access YouTube monthly.
- Daily Active Users (DAUs): More than a billion hours of content is consumed on YouTube every single day.
- YouTube’s user count of 2 billion+ places it second on the list of most-used social media platforms. Only Facebook has more users.
- India has the most YouTube users, estimated at 225 million. The United States follows, with 197 million.
Perhaps hinting at their agenda, Russia is threatening to ban YouTube over this development, by referring to the measures as “unprecedented information aggression.” Whatever the case, this had to be done in order for the platform to keep credibility. We will see if other social media networks follow suit.
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