YouTube announced on Wednesday the platform was cracking down on what it deems “misinformation” involving the coronavirus vaccine, which will also apply to vaccines for other illnesses.
“Working closely with health authorities, we looked to balance our commitment to an open platform with the need to remove egregious harmful content,” YouTube said in a statement posted to its blog. “We’ve steadily seen false claims about the coronavirus vaccines spill over into misinformation about vaccines in general, and we’re now at a point where it’s more important than ever to expand the work we started with COVID-19 to other vaccines.”
CNN anchor Jim Sciutto embraced the news, telling viewers YouTube is “finally, some may say, cracking down on vaccine disinformation.”
Donie O’Sullivan, CNN’s technology reporter who spends much of his time covering rightwing “misinformation,” responded by suggesting it was a “surprise” that YouTube was “allowing” such content in the first place.
“I mean, we are almost two years into this pandemic,” O’Sullivan said. “This is really sort of basic crazy stuff that I think a lot of people would have assumed with all the talk from these Silicon Valley platforms, that this stuff would already be banned.”
Others took to Twitter expressing a similar sentiment.
“Finally,” MSNBC host Joy Reid tweeted.
“Finally! good grief,” Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin wrote.
“Nearly 2 years and 700,000 deaths later,” Huffington Post editor Philip Lewis shamed the tech giant.
“This is good news, but it’s a little too late,” Salt Lake Tribune correspondent Bryan Schott reacted. “They could have done this a long time ago and chose not to because it would harm the bottom line.”
Substack journalist Glenn Greenwald sounded the alarm of the media’s embrace of social media censorship.
“Just the latest episode in an endless line proving that the leading agitators for more censorship — the prime enemies of free discourse in the US — are employees of corporate media outlets. They don’t just approve of the huge censorship wave. They’re angry more isn’t censored,” Greenwald tweeted.
“The fact that we’re so accustomed to corporate journalists being the leading activists *for censorship* has normalized it and obscured how utterly warped and sick it is. As I’ve said before, it’d be as if the leading cheerleaders for more cigarette smoking were cardiologists,” he added.