Google-owned YouTube removed the ads from the videos, the promotion of anti-vaccination rhetoric that violated ad policies, and Pinterest blocked all searches on vaccination and stem the flow of misinformation to the middle of a measles epidemic in the state of Washington.
The tech giant said the anti-vax videos fall under the policy prohibiting the monetization of videos with “hazardous and harmful” content.
“We have strict policies that determine which videos we’d like to show ads and videos that promote anti-vaccination contents of a violation of this policy. We enforce this policy vigorously, and if we have a video that is contrary to them, we take immediate action and remove ads,” a YouTube spokesperson told Fox News by e-mail.
YouTube has enforced this policy on the videos that the promotion of the anti-vax contents in the past.
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YouTube is waging war against the anti-vax contents in a number of ways. In addition demonetizing the videos, the platform also introduced new panels with information about anti-vaccine videos that link to the Wikipedia page for “vaccine hesitancy,” referred to as one of the top 10 global threats of 2019 by the World Health Organization.
YouTube announced in January that the tweaking of the algorithms to recommend less conspiracy videos. The used video platform, what users are uploading 400 hours of content per minute, is slammed by critics for providing a haven to bad actors, and the conspiracy theorists. In January 2018, YouTube, established stricter criteria for the generation of revenue on the platform by setting a higher bar for the channels in terms of subscribers and time.
A recent YouTube search for the phrase “are vaccines safe,” pulled in the results from the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, UCLA Health, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the CDC and a number of mainstream news outlets.
Last week, BuzzFeed News found that while YouTube has the tendency to return to authorized sources for queries such as “vaccines are safe,” the platform is the Following algorithm often suggest anti-vaccination videos of the follow-up to the recommendations. In response to questions from BuzzFeed News, several advertisers withdrew their ads from the videos.
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Pinterest took the step of blocking all vaccine-related seekers on the platform.
Social media platforms have a range of different steps to slow down the spread of the vaccine misinformation.
Pinterest, which has 250 million monthly active users, blocked all searches for vaccines and vaccinations last week, the applying of the health of disinformation policy to the pins of members of the community and ads.
“We want Pinterest to be an inspiring place for people, and there is nothing inspiring about misinformation. That is the reason why we continue to work on new ways of keeping misleading content from our platform, and our recommendations engine,” a spokesperson told Fox News by e-mail.
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Facebook and Google came under fire last week for not doing enough to stop anti-vax contents. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) in a letter to both companies, urging them to take action against false information about vaccines.
“The algorithms that these services are not intended to distinguish quality information from inaccurate information or misleading information and the consequences of which are particularly alarming for the public health,” Schiff writes in his letter.