In a stern move on Friday, YouTube announced that it will ban channels that promote content which speaks against vaccination from running ads, according to a report by BuzzFeed. The platform is also planning to place a new information panel that will give links to the Wikipedia entry on ‘vaccine hesitancy’.
Speaking to BuzzFeed, a YouTube spokesperson said, “We have strict policies that govern what videos we allow ads to appear on, and videos that promote anti-vaccination content are a violation of those policies. We enforce these policies vigorously, and if we find a video that violates them, we immediately take action and remove ads.”
In addition to demonetizing anti-vaccination content, YouTube has also introduced a new information panel pertaining to vaccination. Now a large number of anti-vaccination videos have an information panel that links to the Wikipedia page about ‘vaccine hesitancy’. Speaking to BuzzFeed, seven advertisers said that they were not aware of the fact that their ads were running on video channels and they reached out to YouTube to remove the ads.
As per the report, their ads appeared on videos from channels including VAXXED TV, LarryCook333, and iHealthTube, and they have since been demonetized and prohibited from running ads.
Speaking to BuzzFeed, a medical tech company Nomad Health said, “It does not support the anti-vaccination movement and was not aware of our ads running alongside anti-vaccination videos and would take action to prevent it from happening in the future.”
BuzzNews also found out that the first results for vaccine safety were from reliable and authentic sources like hospitals, but then YouTube’s UP Next algorithm would lead users to anti-vaccination videos and anti-vax ads appeared before the start of these videos. Speaking to BuzzFeed YouTube said that they take steps to include all the necessary changes to the UP Next algorithm and prevent the proliferation of anti-vax funds.