Anti-Vaccine - YouTube blocks all anti-vaccine content
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Anti-Vaccine

YouTube blocks all anti-vaccine content


Story by asiaone.com

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Published on October 1, 2021 4:08 AM
 
On Tuesday, Russian state-backed broadcaster RT's German-language channels were deleted from YouTube, as the company said the channels had breached its Covid-19 misinformation policy. But even as YouTube takes a tougher stance on misinformation, it faces backlash around the world.
 
WASHINGTON - YouTube will block all anti-vaccine content, moving beyond its ban on false information about the Covid vaccines to include content that contains misinformation about other approved vaccines, it said in a blog post on Wednesday (Sept 29).

Examples of content that won't be allowed on YouTube include claims that the flu vaccine causes infertility and that the MMR shot, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella, can cause autism, according to YouTube's policies.

The online video company owned by Alphabet Inc is also banning channels associated with several prominent anti-vaccine activists including Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Joseph Mercola, a YouTube spokesperson said.

A press email for Mercola's website said in a statement: "We are united across the world, we will not live in fear, we will stand together and restore our freedoms."

Kennedy did not immediately respond to requests for...

Fighting misinformation in the time of COVID-19, one click at a time

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The United Kingdom and WHO collaborate to manage the infodemic

Acting on the wrong information can kill. In the first 3 months of 2020, nearly 6 000 people around the globe were hospitalized because of coronavirus misinformation, recent research suggests. During this period, researchers say at least 800 people may have died due to misinformation related to COVID-19*.

At its extreme, death can be the tragic outcome of what the World Health Organization has termed the infodemic, an overabundance of information — some accurate, some not — that spreads alongside a disease outbreak. False information runs the gamut, from discrediting the threat of COVID-19 to conspiracy theories that vaccines could alter human DNA.

Though they aren't new, in our digital age infodemics spread like wildfire. They create a breeding ground for uncertainty. Uncertainty in turn fuels skepticism and distrust, which is the perfect environment for fear, anxiety, finger-pointing, stigma, violent aggression and dismissal of proven public health measures — which can lead to loss of life.

To try to control the COVID-19 infodemic, WHO has teamed up with the United Kingdom Government to create and distribute content to combat the spread of misinformation through a series of communication campaigns. This was one of several initiatives to combat misinformation taken by WHO on its own and with partners since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Stop the Spread
"Stop the Spread' rolled out on BBC World television, website and apps during May and June 2020. It aimed to raise the public's awareness of the volume of misinformation around COVID-19 and encourage people to double check information, therefore limiting the damage and spread of false information.

"Reporting Misinformation', launched in August, galvanized people to not only verify information but showed them how to report misinformation to various social media platforms.

Alex Aiken, Executive Director of UK Government Communications, said, "The UK and the World Health Organization have a long history of collaboration. As the pandemic hit globally and the world sought collective action on the additional threat from the infodemic, our partnership was made even stronger."