YouTube recently announced that it will be preventing anti-vaccination channels from earning income from advertisements. The decision from YouTube comes after the mounting pressures from various people and agencies. Tech Platforms like Facebook and Google have been asked to deal with the rising volume of negative information being circulated on their platforms about vaccinations.
According to the UK’s health secretary Jonathan Ashworth, the information being circulated on these platforms are creating a public health emergency. He explained that such content was encouraging parents not to vaccinate their children. WHO explained that the vaccine hesitancy as one of 2019 top threats to global health. YouTube has finally responded, the platform has made some advertising policies to block the spread of these anti-vaccination content on its platform.
About the YouTube Anti-Vaccination Controversy
According to BuzzFeed News, health ads and other ads were running before anti-vaccination content. Most of the advertisers involved weren’t aware that their ads were playing next to anti-vaccination videos. Seeing as YouTube’s algorithm controls their ad placements. After the news broke, advertiser began to pull all their ads from the platform. This will be the second time this month advertisers will by pulling its ads from the platform. Recently advertiser pulled their ads from the platform because of some child safety issues.
YouTube Responds to the Anti-Vaccination Controversy
YouTube through a rep responded to the whole controversy. They stated that they have strict policies which govern the videos they allow ads to appear on. YouTube stated that anti-vaccination content violated those policies and that they will be enforcing the policies vigorously. They stated that immediately such content are seen, they will take action and remove ads. According to Buzzfeed’s report, channels like VAXXED TV, LarryCook333 and iHealthTube will be prevented from earning income from ads. YouTube plans to replace the ads removed from the anti-vaccination content with an information panel. The information panel will link users to a Wikipedia page on vaccine hesitancy. The article clearly describes vaccine hesitancy as one of the top ten global health threats of 2019.