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YouTube prevents anti-vaccine channels from running ads

25 February, 2019, 09:44 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
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This latest round of backlash beats a well worn path in which the media, users, or creators express outrage over the sites negligence; advertisers react either by pausing ads on the site presumably until YouTube can give them reassurances of progress or by releasing statements to express their disappointment or reinforce their brand values; and finally, advertisers eventually return to the platform.

The Nestle spokesperson expressed optimism that YouTube would be able to tackle the problems quickly, noting that the inappropriate content affected "an extremely low volume" of the company's ads.

And a host of firms including AT&T, Marks & Spencer and Audi have pulled ads in the past after they appeared next to videos promoting conspiracy theories, white nationalism and terrorist groups.

YouTube didn't specify which anti-vax channels - or how many - were subject to the demonetization action.

According to BuzzFeed, which first reported the news, channels that will likely be cut off from monetization include VAXXED TV, LarryCook333 and iHealthTube.

Once again, content control on YouTube is being questioned, and once again advertisers are pulling out over concerns that their brands are appearing alongside inappropriate content.

Anti-vaccination proponents who falsely suggest that vaccines are somehow unsafe for kids remain rife on YouTube and other platforms. The rise of the number of measles cases is blamed to the rising refusal of parents to vaccinate their children.

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A spokesperson cited YouTube's policy that prohibits the monetization of videos with "dangerous and harmful" content as the company's reason behind the decision. The blogger, Matt Watson, demonstrated how if users clicked on one of the clips, YouTube's algorithms recommended similar ones. That includes videos promoting bogus miracle cures for serious illnesses, claiming the Earth is flat, or making "blatantly false claims" about historical events like the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to YouTube. Others worry that YouTube's temporary system could be abused by ill-intentioned commenters looking to screw creators over.

It also said it had disabled comments on tens of millions of videos that "could be subject to predatory comments".

AT&T returned to YouTube in January this year.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Pinterest is blocking vaccination searches in an attempt to crack down on misinformation.

It's exactly what happened last time the layer of muck buried in YouTube's billions of hours of videos came into contact with big-name advertisers, and the time before that.

Recently, BuzzFeed News made some inquires regarding algorithmic based recommendations on YouTube, where YouTube's algorithm was returning anti-vaccination videos after watching pro-vaccination content.



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