YouTube will censor content creators that disagree with, or perhaps only question, guidance from the World Health Organization or local health authorities, according to the company's updated “medical misinformation” policy.
The change has broad, sweeping implications for content creators. The platform's previous policy touched on vaccines, abortions and content promoting or glorifying eating disorders but severely ramped up during COVID-19.
In the new, ambiguously worded update, YouTube says it “doesn't allow content that poses a serious risk of egregious harm by spreading medical misinformation that contradicts local health authorities’ (LHAs) or the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidance about specific health conditions and substances.”
“To determine if a condition, treatment or substance is in scope of our medical misinformation policies, we’ll evaluate whether it’s associated with a high public health risk, publicly available guidance from health authorities around the world, and whether it’s generally prone to misinformation,” reads a statement addressing the changes on the company's blog.
The statement also noted that YouTube “will begin removing content that promotes cancer treatments proven to be harmful or ineffective, or content that discourages viewers from seeking professional medical treatment.”
Interestingly, YouTube states that it’s misinformation policies are “subject to change in response to changes to guidance from health authorities or WHO,” and the policies “may not cover all LHA/WHO guidance related to specific health conditions and substances.”
Part of the policy means that one cannot make “claims that an approved COVID-19 vaccine will cause death, infertility, miscarriage, autism, or contraction of other infectious diseases.”
So, does featuring Pfizer’s own data, which shows alarming instances of fetal death, miscarriage and spontaneous abortion, contradict this “guideline”? What about when the manufacturers’ product monograph contradicts what health authorities were advising?
In the link under “Guaranteed prevention misinformation,” content creators cannot claim there is a “guaranteed prevention method for COVID-19.”
Yet the COVID-19 vaccines were sold to the public as a “ticket out of the pandemic” — a sentiment that was undoubtedly spread on YouTube unabated — as though the novel injections would prevent infection and transmission, an attribution that they were never studied for.
Other “Community Guidelines” stipulations include “elections misinformation.” This is the policy that YouTube deemed Rebel News violated when the Google-owned platform demonetized our content in March 2021.
If (and when) YouTube’s policies change, sadly it won’t be a result of debate or dissent that took place on the largest online video sharing and social media conglomerate’s platform — lending some to liken it to a propaganda platform.