YouTube has decided to stop featuring advertising content on popular channels that promote anti-vaccination views. This comes after many companies discovered that their ads were running alongside some of the videos and took issue.
The BBC states that YouTube has taken the step to stop ads from serving these videos ecause they believe that many of the channels were promoting “harmful” and “dangerous” videos. As a result, these channels will no longer be generating money from advertisers that generally appear on the site.
YouTube said that they are taking steps to make sure that more authoritative content is featured on its site. YouTube also plans on creating a panel that can help fact-check content that appears in certain videos. The company said in a statement that any misinformation on medical topics is especially concerning, adding, "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.”
So far, the demonetized accounts include three anti-vaccination channels: LarryCook333, VAXXED TV, and alternative medicine channel iHealthTube. All three channels have a total of 473,000 active subscribers. The creators for the three channels have made no comments about YouTube’s decision to pull their adds.
Just last month, YouTube said that it would limit the number of videos that feature so-called conspiracy theories or at least pull down such videos in their search algorithms. U.S. Representative Adam Schiff recently sent Facebook and YouTube’s parent company Google a letter that outlines his concerns about vaccine-related information.
Facebook has said that it will explore “new options” in limiting such information while Pinterest has already taken action by no longer allowing search results for vaccinations. The company said in a statement that it was “better not to serve those results than to lead people down what is like a recommendation rabbit hole.” In other words, they are steering clear from the topic altogether.
Just recently, the World Health Organization said in a statement that anti-vaccination views were a “Top 10 Global Health Threat” in 2019. So far, YouTube has made no additional comments about their decision to pull the ads.