YouTube is now cracking down on all claims that vaccines are dangerous or cause health issues, like cancer, infertility or autism.
Dr. Jeanine Guidry from Virginia Commonwealth University studies the influence of media on public health. She said even the best-intentioned people can be swayed by false claims.
“If that information is less available, it’s less likely they’re going to encounter it. And that, that matters because ultimately, it’s going to protect people,” Dr. Guidry said.
Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets have been trying to flag or remove misinformation. But tech experts say it’s an uphill battle.
“The tech industry is trying to come up with answers, including using computer programs, mixed with humans to moderate this stuff. And they are woefully behind what’s actually happening on their platforms, at all times,” said Ian Sherr, CNET News editor-at-large.
He adds, “It’s impossible to monitor all this stuff. I mean, that’s just the reality of it.”
Health experts say spreading scientific data may be the best antidote.
“Because there’s two sides of this. There’s misinformation. There’s also good information that needs to be communicated better.” Dr. Guidry said.
Claims about vaccines that are still in trials will be allowed on YouTube along with personal stories about reactions to the shot.
YouTube has already taken down accounts that spread misinformation about vaccines. The company has not said exactly how much content was removed.