SAN FRANCISCO | COVID-19 vaccines are only in clinical trials, but YouTube, like Facebook, is taking the lead: social network now bans vaccine misinformation, which could damage trust in future campaigns vaccination.
• Read also: Facebook bans ads discouraging getting vaccinated
Google’s video platform on Wednesday updated its rules on removing false information related to the pandemic.
Claims that the vaccine will kill people or make them infertile, for example, will be removed.
In general, videos propagating information contrary to the consensus of health authorities or the World Health Organization (WHO) will be withdrawn.
YouTube also mentions the conspiracy theory which claims that microchips will be implanted in patients during vaccination.
On Tuesday, Facebook announced now to ban ads that discourage users from getting vaccinated, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic which has highlighted “the importance of preventive health measures”.
The social media giant will also launch an information campaign in the United States on the vaccine against seasonal flu.
The two platforms have already strengthened their rules on moderation of content on the coronavirus on several occasions, and set up information centers on the subject. The pandemic has indeed sparked several waves of misinformation about the virus and its remedies, as well as numerous scams.
COVID-19 vaccines are expected as a major key to getting out of the pandemic, and several laboratories are currently conducting clinical trials.
The United States has pre-ordered hundreds of millions of doses from Pfizer and Moderna, but also from AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax and Sanofi, to ensure prompt deliveries from, or , candidates who will prove to be winners.
Large social networks are regularly accused of allowing the anti-vaccine movement to develop.
According to US health authorities, the percentage of children reaching two years of age without any vaccination has increased from 0.9% of children born in 2011 to 1.3% of those born in 2015. The number of requests for vaccine exemptions has increased in 2018-2019 for the fourth consecutive school year in the United States.
A very large study of more than 650,000 Danish children followed over more than a decade, however, reached the same conclusion as several previous studies: the vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) does not increase risk of autism, contrary to what is peddled on social networks.