Measles outbreaks were announced all over the world in the last two months. Thousands of total fatality were recorded in the USA, Madagascar, and the Philippines when the vaccine-preventable disease came back to terrorize families.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has once again considered the epidemic a global health threat after decades of completely eliminating it as a community risk. The rise of the number of measles cases is blamed to the rising refusal of parents to vaccinate their children. Amid the scientific evidence that vaccination is necessary and safe, many still believe conspiracy theories that demonize vaccination and has converted many to become anti-vaxxers.
But YouTube is taking a stand against anti-vaxxers. Earlier this afternoon, BuzzFeed News reported that the famous video sharing platform is removing ads from videos that promote anti-vaccination contents, citing a ban on ‘dangerous and harmful’ material.
YouTube confirmed the decision after BuzzFeed News contacted seven companies who were unaware that their ads were running on anti-vaccination videos.
On the report made by BuzzFeed News, seven advertisers said that they were not aware that their ads are running on videos like “Mom Researches Vaccines, Discovers Vaccination Horrors and Goes Vaccine Free,” which advocates against vaccinating children, and reached out to YouTube to pull the programmatic placements.
In the past, YouTube has already restricted ads from running in conspiracy theories and other objectionable material on its platform.
BuzzFeed reports that the demonetized accounts include anti-vaccination channels LarryCook333 and VAXXED TV, as well as “alternative medicine” channel iHealthTube. Totaling to 473,000 subscribers, these video channels earn from using anti-vaxx content to gain followers and monetizing views.
“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 through a spokesperson.
Furthermore, in an effort to counteract misinformation that is proliferated by anti-vaccination content, YouTube adds Wikipedia article links to some searches that will lead them to a potential anti-vaxx material.
“We enforce these policies vigorously, and if we find a video that violates them, we immediately take action and remove ads,” the spokesperson added. /apr