YouTube is cracking down on users whose content opposes the prevailing government and bureaucratic COVID-19 vaccine narrative or discourages people from getting the shot.
The Google-owned platform overlooked Big Tech’s previous mistakes in curbing unproven claims about the Wuhan lab to announce the new censorship campaign in a press release on Wednesday titled “Managing harmful vaccine content on YouTube.” YouTube admitted that its new policy is crafted to cater to vaccine information sourced from local health authorities and the compromised World Health Organization and eliminate any claims that “vaccines approved by health authorities are ineffective or dangerous,” the Washington Post reported.
Even before the COVID-19 shot was readily available to the public, YouTube pledged to censor and even bar any content that cast doubt on the vaccine.
“A Covid-19 vaccine may be imminent, therefore we’re ensuring we have the right policies in place to be able to remove misinformation related to a Covid-19 vaccine from the platform,” a YouTube spokesman said in October 2020. “Any content that includes claims about Covid-19 vaccinations that contradict expert consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organization (WHO) will be removed from YouTube.”
Now the policy extends beyond content that contradicts the government’s COVID-19 narrative and greenlights censorship of any videos or accounts that raise questions about potential jab side effects or expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of the shot.
“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,” YouTube said in a statement.
YouTube’s decision to prolong its political crusade against free speech comes just a few months after the Biden administration urged Big Tech companies to punish COVID-19 dissidents who spread so-called “misinformation” with surveillance and censorship. He also urged Silicon Valley giants to crack down on “misinformation ‘super-spreaders’” operating on social media sites.
“Limiting the spread of health misinformation is a moral and civic imperative that will require a whole-of-society effort,” U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy wrote in a report in July.