YouTube to block ads from appearing next to anti-vaccination content
YouTube will no longer monetize content that promotes anti-vaccinations.
Facebook and Google have been under mounting pressure to deal with the volume of conspiracy theory and misinformation content on vaccinations.
In the UK, the shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said tech platforms were creating a “public health emergency” by failing to stop posts encouraging parents not to vaccinate their children.
The World Health Organization recently said "vaccine hesitancy" was one of 2019's top threats to global health.
The Google-owned video platform said its advertising policy bans “dangerous and harmful” content from monetization and it would now stop serving ads against anti-vaccination channels and videos.
“We have strict policies that govern what videos we allow ads to appear on, and videos that promote anti-vaccination content are a violation of those policies,” YouTube said in a statement.
“We enforce these policies vigorously, and if we find a video that violates them, we immediately take action and remove ads.”
According to BuzzFeed, which first reported the news, channels that will likely be cut off from monetization include VAXXED TV, LarryCook333 and iHealthTube. It found that advertisers including Vitacost, Retail Me Not, Brilliant Earth and SolarWinds had all inadvertently featured next to videos on these channels.
In a separate crisis, YouTube has also tried to combat a number of advertisers pausing spend on its platform this week following an investigation revealed that paedophiles and other sexual predators were posting coded sexual comments on videos of children.
AT&T, Disney, Hasbro and Epic Games all suspended ad spending in wake of the scandal.