Over the last few months, YouTube provides quietly removed or transformed many of its COVID censorship rules which resulted in numerous videos and creators becoming censored throughout 2020 and 2021.
Collectively, these changes to YouTube’s “ COVID-19 healthcare misinformation” mean that users are actually allowed to question or question whether the vaccines reduce the danger of contracting or growing COVID-19, question or question the effectiveness of masks and social distancing, say that the symptoms plus contagiousness of COVID-19 are usually equal to or less severe than the common cold or even seasonal flu, and declare that the pandemic is over.
All prohibitions on statements about masks, interpersonal distancing, and self-isolation have already been removed from YouTube’s “ COVID-19 medical misinformation” policy. In addition , one ban on claims about vaccines has been taken out of the policy and several from the rules related to vaccines are actually changed.
Previously, YouTube banned claims that:
- “ The virus has disappeared or that the pandemic is definitely over”
- “ COVID-19 vaccines are not efficient in preventing the spread of COVID-19”
- “ Wearing a mask is definitely dangerous or causes bad physical health effects”
- “ Masks do not play a role in preventing the particular contraction or transmission”
- “ Wearing a mask causes oxygen levels to drop to dangerous levels”
- “ Masks result in lung cancer or human brain damage”
- “ Wearing a mask gives you COVID-19”
- “ Content that disputes the efficacy of local health authorities’ or WHO’s [World Health Organization’s] guidance on physical distancing or self-isolation measures to lessen transmission of COVID-19”
- “ Videos alleging that social distancing plus self-isolation are not effective in reducing the spread from the virus”
All of the rules banning these types of specific claims have now already been removed from the policy.
The policy’s prior ban on “ statements that COVID-19 vaccines usually do not reduce risk of contracting COVID-19” has been changed to a ban on “ claims that will COVID-19 vaccines do not reduce risk of serious illness or death. ”
And the policy’s prior ban on “ statements that the symptoms, death prices, or contagiousness of COVID-19 are less severe or even equally as severe as the common cold or seasonal flu” has been changed to “ states that the death rate of COVID-19 is equal to or less than that of the common chilly or seasonal flu. ”
YouTube made these changes to its COVID-19 medical misinformation policy sometime between April 4, 2022 and May 18, 2022.
Before making these adjustments, YouTube removed more than a million videos for smashing its COVID-19 misinformation rules . Many high-profile numbers, including Senator Rand Paul and Congressman Thomas Massie , were censored after questioning the effectiveness of masks or even vaccines.
Not only did the tech giant censor these claims that it can be now decided are permitted but it also regularly publicized the censorship of so-called COVID-19 misinformation. YouTube CEO Leslie Wojcicki was pointing to the platform’s COVID-19 censorship rules as recently as May 24 (after YouTube had quietly walked many of its COVID censorship rules) at an occasion where she said “ there’ll always be work that we have to do” to censor “ misinformation. ”
However , these modifications that walk back a lot of the COVID-19 censorship had been made quietly and have received little publicity. And many of those who were censored under the old rules still haven’t had their channels or movies restored.