YouTube said will remove videos that contain misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, in an expansion of its existing rules about conspiracy theories and falsehoods about the pandemic, the Verge reported. Any vaccine-related content that contradicts information from “local health authorities” or the World Health Organisation is now prohibited. “A COVID-19 vaccine may be imminent, therefore we’re ensuring we have the right policies in place to be able to remove misinformation related to a COVID-19 vaccine,” Farshad Shadloo, a YouTube spokesman, told the Verge in an email. This will include claims that the vaccine will kill people or cause infertility, that it will cause autism, or that microchips will be implanted in people who are vaccinated. The microchips conspiracy theory promotes the false idea that Bill Gates, at the forefront of the COVID-19 vaccine race, will install microchips into every vaccinated person. It surfaced after Gates in March said in an interview that eventually “we will have some digital certificates" which would be used to show which people had received a vaccine. Under its COVID-19 misinformation policy, YouTube — which has been responsible for pulling people down rabbit holes of conspiracies — already prohibits content that claims that a guaranteed vaccine or cure for COVID-19 is available, that the COVID-19 vaccine will kill people who receive it. Conspiracy theories around COVID-19, including that 5G causes or eating Asain food causes it, is also prohibited. Outside of vaccine misinformation, YouTube had earlier this year prohibited content that sheds doubt over the existence and…
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