Anti-Vax Getting Demonetized

Youtube has stopped putting advertisement on anti-vax videos and stopped featuring these videos on the Youtube homepage.

Stephanie Hall, Staff Writer

In recent years, some parents have decided that they would rather their child have polio than “risk their child to autism.” In the age of the internet, they have grown from their private Facebook groups to Youtube channels, warning parents of vaccines. And now Youtube has stopped advertising on these videos and stopped putting these videos on the home page.

“I feel like it’s okay. I don’t care that since it is a matter of free speech. I feel that if someone wants to not vaccinate their kids, then what can you do?” said Shelby Dalton (10).

The videos have been labeled as a violation of YouTube’s guidelines that prohibit “dangerous and harmful” content. The main goal is to try and calm the criticism of Youtube spreading misinformation.

“I think it’s stupid to make such a big deal over it. I feel that there are other videos that should be taken care of that are more harmful,” said Emma Nierman (9).

People not being vaccinated has been listed by World Health Organization as one of the top ten threats to global health. Many diseases that were once eradicated now have widespread outbreaks throughout the United States. Whooping cough spread through California and the measles spread through Texas. Both have vaccinations and those outbreaks could have been prevented.

“Vaccines have been working all these years. I understand not getting vaccinated due to allergies, but if you can, you can, you should so less people get harmed,” said Taylor Bailey (9).

Anti-vaxxers have pressured local legislators to make vaccinating a choice. Social media has allowed them to grow from a couple of people here and there to a big group across the country.

I don’t think it’s wrong. I think people should have a choice. I don’t think their opinions should be taken off Youtube,” said Maddie Burge (9).

Users of Youtube who look up vaccination, wanting to know more about what it is, are encountering pages and pages of anti-vax content. The issue even prompted a letter to Google and Facebook from California representative Adam Schiff asking that the companies take measures to address vaccine misinformation.

“I don’t think its the right thing to spread this information. It can ruin or harm someone. If you tell people this wrong information, you don’t truly know the effects of what you say,” said Jennifer Martinez (9).

Despite this, anti-vaxxers are not being stopped. Many videos counteract misinformation about the risk and likelihood of danger with vaccines. A few days before YouTube’s demonetization of anti-vax videos, the YouTube channel Jubilee uploaded a video debate between pros and cons of vaccines as part of its Middle Ground debate series. This led to a multitude of response videos by medical professionals, explaining why anti-vaxxers are wrong.

“I personally believe you need to vaccinate your kids so they don’t die of eradicated diseases like the small pox,” said Elijah Bunn (12).

However, many people believe that by shoving away the anti-vaxxers makes the situation worse. By alienating them and refusing conversation, it causes them to band together, sharing misinformation between one another. It allows to begin building the structures to organize politically, which would possible cause laws that would harm people instead of help. Demonetizing videos is likely to only confirm anti-vaxxer beliefs of being persecuted, making them more difficult to talk to and show them the truth.