In the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambugious) world we live in today, it is becomming increasingly difficult to make informed decisions, especially regarding the COVID-19 vaccination. Living in the 21st century, one would imagine that critical thinking, scientific inquiry and open debate are welcomed in all areas of civilisation. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with this philiosophy of freedom of speech or freedom of choice.

The Big Tech online media platform YouTube, who is owned by Google, released a blog post today stating that they are expanding their policies to tackle misinformation regarding the COVID-19 vaccines. In the article, YouTube states that they have already removed over 130 000 since the start of the pandemic that was deemed in violation with their COVID-19 policies. As of today, they are intensifying their efforts.

According to YouTube’s Vaccine Misinformation Policy, content that challenges, questions or provides proof against vaccine safety or the efficacy of vaccines are not permitted. In fact, they go on to provide examples of such disallowed information, which includes “claims that vaccines do not reduce risk of contracting illness” or content that suggests “vaccines cause chronic side effects”. They base their opinion of what is classified as misinformation from health experts and authorities including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Health Service (UK) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Now, while it is within YouTube’s prerogative as an organisation to implement policies according their own ideology, it is important for us to take note and understand that information on these Big Tech platforms do not necessarily provide us with balanced content. In fact, YouTube will censor, remove content and ultimately close channels that oppose their point of view on the topic.

This type of censorship and the control of a specific narrative should be of grave concern to everyone. Historically, the majority opinion did not necessarily equate to the correct view; prime examples being Apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany. Both of the before mentioned regimes promoted a one-sided narrative whilst censoring opposing views.

It is not the purpose of this article to advocate for or against the COVID-19 vaccination. It is, however, my intention to challenge you in realising that, similar to many other topics, there are many experts with opposing views to that of the mainstream media narrative. In fact, as at the time this article was being written, over 7200 doctors and scientists have signed the Rome Declaration where they oppose the “one size fits all treatment strategy”, “political intrusion into the practise of medicine”, and the prevention of providing early treatment to patients.

I will leave you with the following questions. Are you comfortable with the fact that you may not raise a concern, challenge a viewpoint, or have an alternative opinion to that of the ‘supposed’ majority experts? Were you even aware that there were medical professionals and scientists with legitimate concerns about the efficacy and medium to long terms effects of COVID-19 vaccines?

If your answer to any of the above questions were ‘no’, I encourage you to start critically evaluating all information you are consuming.

Read YouTube’s full blog post and their Vaccine Misinformation Policy.

Header Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

2 thoughts on “YouTube Censorship: Making Informed Decisions Harder When Opposing Views Are Censored

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