YouTube is banning several prominent anti-vaxxers from its site — including Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — and will delete all content that suggests approved vaccines are harmful or don’t work, the company said Wednesday.
The online video platform, which is owned by Google, said in a blog post it is cracking down on content that falsely claims vaccines can cause chronic health effects.
It is also targeting content that includes misinformation on the contents of approved vaccines.
The new ban applies to all vaccines — not just those for COVID-19.
Among the channels being removed under the new policy is Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Children’s Health Defense Fund, a YouTube spokesperson told the Post.
Channels belonging to author Joseph Mercola, health blogger Erin Elizabeth and Ohio doctor Sherri Tenpenny are also being removed.
YouTube is banning Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Children’s Health Defense Fund from the site.Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Instagram yanked RFK Jr.’s account back in February over his bogus COVID vaccine claims.
YouTube had already put in place a similar ban related to COVID-19 vaccine misinformation amid the pandemic.
The company said it is putting the wider ban in place after seeing false claims about the COVID-19 vaccine spread to misinformation about vaccines in general.
Several thousand anti-vaccine protesters march through the streets of Manhattan, on September 18, 2021.Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images
“Content that falsely alleges that approved vaccines are dangerous and cause chronic health effects, claims that vaccines do not reduce transmission or contraction of disease, or contains misinformation on the substances contained in vaccines will be removed,” the company said.
“This would include content that falsely says that approved vaccines cause autism, cancer or infertility, or that substances in vaccines can track those who receive them. Our policies not only cover specific routine immunizations like for measles or Hepatitis B, but also apply to general statements about vaccines.”
The ban does not apply to content about vaccine policies, new vaccine trials, and historical vaccine successes or failures, the company said.
Anti-vax protesters demonstrate outside the San Diego Unified School District office to protest a vaccination mandate for students, on September 28, 2021.Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images
“Personal testimonials relating to vaccines will also be allowed, so long as the video doesn’t violate other Community Guidelines, or the channel doesn’t show a pattern of promoting vaccine hesitancy,” YouTube said.
YouTube said it had removed more than 130,000 videos for violating COVID-19 vaccine policies within the last year.