(RepublicanPress.org) – Like other big tech companies, YouTube has found itself at the center of controversy for its moderation practices. It didn’t help that it banned Donald Trump, a sitting president, earlier this year. The video platform finds itself under scrutiny again in the wake of its recent decision to suspend videos questioning the legitimacy of vaccines.
On Wednesday, September 29, YouTube announced it was expanding its medical misinformation rules and procedures by issuing new guidelines related to vaccines. The new policy will apply to approved vaccinations already deemed safe and effective by local health authorities and the World Health Organization.
YouTube is blocking all anti-vaccine content and banning prominent anti-vaccine activists https://t.co/IdvAE2ebQU
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) September 29, 2021
Content banned under the new guideline includes:
- Claims that approved vaccines are dangerous and lead to chronic health issues like “autism, cancer, or infertility.”
- Misinformation regarding the substances used to create vaccines.
- Assertions that vaccines fail to reduce the “transmission or contraction” of diseases.
YouTube said the bans would cover statements about routine vaccines like those given for “measles or Hepatitis B” and for general remarks made about vaccinations, their safety, and efficacy. YouTube said it already removed over 130,000 videos for violating its coronavirus vaccine policies this year.
Undoubtedly, free speech advocates will begin pummelling the site for its announcement. However, First Amendment protections only apply to misconduct on the part of governmental entities and agencies.
Could this push Congress to take action to remove other protections provided to online companies under Section 230 of the United States Communications Decency Act, as former President Donald Trump suggested on numerous occasions?
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