Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

YouTube hammered for ‘pervasive and institutionalized’ censorship after booting anti-vaxxers off platform — RT World News

Posted by M. C. on September 30, 2021

Under its year-old ‘Covid-19 medical misinformation policy’, YouTube already censors a broad range of topics specifically relating to the coronavirus. These include videos “encouraging home remedies,” content claiming “that masks do not play a role in preventing the contraction or transmission of Covid-19,” and content “that recommends use of Ivermectin or Hydroxychloroquine for the prevention of Covid-19.”

Tech giant YouTube has been fiercely criticized and accused of running a “pervasive” censorship regime, after tightening up its ban on anti-vaccine content and booting prominent vaccine skeptics off its platform.

YouTube unveiled new rules on Wednesday banning all “harmful vaccine content” from its platform, not just content about Covid-19 shots. The new rules prohibit content alleging that vaccines “cause chronic side effects,” that they “do not reduce transmission or contraction of disease,” and that they contain unlisted ingredients like fetal cells. 

A number of prominent vaccine skeptics were immediately booted from YouTube. Among them were alternative medicine advocates Dr. Joseph Mercola and Erin Elizabeth, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a lawyer and longtime critic of vaccines and their alleged side effects in children.

All three were members of the so-called “disinformation dozen,” a list of 12 accounts believed by pro-censorship activists to be the source of nearly three quarters of all online anti-vaccine content. The list, compiled by the Center for Countering Digital Hate and published this summer, was referenced by President Joe Biden in a speech calling on social media companies to crack down harder on this so-called “disinformation.”

“They’re killing people!” Biden said of these figures at the time, shortly before several platforms – including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – began to remove some of their accounts.

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