YouTube finally steps up, after the damage is done.
I have no idea why YouTube took so long. But I am partially glad they finally arrived at the destination.
"YouTube is taking down several video channels associated with high-profile anti-vaccine activists including Joseph Mercola and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who experts say are partially responsible for helping seed the skepticism that's contributed to slowing vaccination rates across the country."
Youtube is finally done with anti-vaxxers. "As part of a new set of policies aimed at cutting down on anti-vaccine content on the Google-owned site, YouTube will ban any videos that claim that commonly used vaccines approved by health authorities are ineffective or dangerous.
The company previously blocked videos that made those claims about coronavirus vaccines, but not ones for other vaccines like those for measles or chickenpox".
To be fair to YouTube, they did block videos that carried misinformation about coronavirus vaccines. Youtube suspended Republican Senator Ron Johnson after "he posted about COVID-19 that violated the company’s policy on medical misinformation". They took down Florida governor Ron DeSantis' video over claims children don’t need to wear masks".
The problem was Google’s decision to focus on Covid-19 vaccines but allow other anti-vaccine propaganda on the platform. Anti-vaxxers started to use the policy gap to turn people against all vaccines. YouTube is now extending the ban to all anti-vaccine content.
YouTube’s actions to control misinformation are a bit spotty.
“In 2020, YouTube took a largely hands-off approach to misinformation surrounding the presidential election compared to Facebook and Twitter. The platform only started taking action on misleading videos about widespread voter fraud a month after the election, after the “safe harbor” deadline for states to settle disputes with the results had passed”.
Social media companies should have anticipated the anti-vax industry to exploit the gullible and make money out of their misery. All three platforms must carry the blame for spreading vaccine misinformation around the world.