YouTube removes ads from ‘anti-vaccination’ video channels

Many YouTube channels with content pushing anti-vaccination conspiracy theories will no longer be able to serve ads alongside their videos.  

YouTube said on Friday that channels promoting anti-vaccination content are not allowed to run ads on the platform. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the anti-vaccine movement is one of the worst health threats facing humanity in 2019.

The move comes after companies discovered that their ads were being displayed alongside controversial anti-vaccination videos.

YouTube has a policy of not allowing videos containing “dangerous and harmful” to be monetized.

A YouTube spokesperson told Business Insider in a statement.

“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. We enforce these policies vigorously, and if we find a video that violates them, we immediately take action and remove ads.”

However, several channels – including VAXXED TV, LarryCook333, and iHealthTub – promoting anti-vaccine content were able to run ads on their videos.

A spokesperson for Grammarly, a writing software company, was quoted by BuzzFeed as saying:

“Upon learning of this, we immediately contacted YouTube to pull our ads from appearing not only on this channel but also to ensure related content that promulgates conspiracy theories is completely excluded.”

Adding, “We have stringent exclusion filters in place with YouTube that we believed would exclude such channels. We’ve asked YouTube to ensure this does not happen again.”

YouTube has since demonetized or prevented ads from running on videos by these channels.

In addition to removing ads, YouTube said it wants to make “more authoritative content” easier for users to find on the benefits of vaccination. The company also said it is removing anti-vaccine videos from appearing in recommendation lists.

YouTube said: “Like many algorithmic changes, these efforts will be gradual and will get more and more accurate over time.”