Vaccine Misinformation Policy: YouTube Community Guidelines
YouTube doesn’t allow content that poses a serious risk of egregious harm by spreading medical misinformation about currently administered vaccines that are approved and confirmed to be safe and effective by local health authorities and by the World Health Organization (WHO). This is limited to content that contradicts local health authorities’ or the WHO’s guidance on vaccine safety, efficacy, and ingredients.
What this policy means for you
If you're posting content
Don’t post content on YouTube if it includes harmful misinformation about currently approved and administered vaccines on any of the following:
Vaccine safety: content alleging that vaccines cause chronic side effects, outside of rare side effects that are recognized by health authorities
Efficacy of vaccines: content claiming that vaccines do not reduce transmission or contraction of disease
Ingredients in vaccines: content misrepresenting the substances contained in vaccines
This policy applies to videos, video descriptions, comments, live streams, and any other YouTube product or feature. Keep in mind that this isn't a complete list. Please note these policies also apply to external links in your content. This can include clickable URLs, verbally directing users to other sites in video, as well as other forms.
Here are some examples of content that’s not allowed on YouTube:
- Claims that vaccines cause chronic side effects such as:
- Other chronic side effects
- Claims that vaccines do not reduce risk of contracting illness
- Claims that vaccines contain substances that are not on the vaccine ingredient list, such as biological matter from fetuses (e.g. fetal tissue, fetal cell lines) or animal byproducts
- Claims that vaccines contain substances or devices meant to track or identify those who’ve received them
- Claims that vaccines alter a person’s genetic makeup
- Claims that the MMR vaccine causes autism
- Claims that vaccines are part of a depopulation agenda
- Claims that the flu vaccine causes chronic side effects such as infertility
- Claims that the HPV vaccine causes chronic side effects such as paralysis
Educational, scientific, artistic, or testimonial content
YouTube may allow content that violates the misinformation policies noted on this page if that content includes additional context in the video, audio, title, or description. This is not a pass to promote misinformation. Additional context may include countervailing views from local health authorities or medical experts. We may also make exceptions if the purpose of the content is to condemn, dispute, or satirize misinformation that violates our policies. We may also make exceptions for content showing an open public forum, like a protest or public hearing, provided the content does not aim to promote misinformation that violates our policies.
YouTube also believes people should be able to share their own experiences, including personal experiences with vaccinations. This means we may make exceptions for content in which creators describe firsthand experiences from themselves or their family. At the same time, we recognize there is a difference between sharing personal experiences and promoting misinformation about vaccines. To address this balance, we will still remove content or channels if they include other policy violations or demonstrate a pattern of promoting vaccine misinformation.
What happens if content violates this policy
If your content violates this policy, we’ll remove the content and send you an email to let you know. If we can’t verify that a link you post is safe, we may remove the link.
If this is your first time violating our Community Guidelines, you’ll likely get a warning with no penalty to your channel. If it’s not, we may issue a strike against your channel. If you get 3 strikes within 90 days, your channel will be terminated. You can learn more about our strikes system here.
We may terminate your channel or account for repeated violations of the Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. We may also terminate your channel or account after a single case of severe abuse, or when the channel is dedicated to a policy violation. You can learn more about channel or account terminations here.
More information on vaccines, including their safety and efficacy, can be found below.
Health Authority Vaccine Information:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (US)
- European Vaccination Information Portal (EU)
- National Health Service (UK)
- World Health Organization vaccine safety (Global)
- World Health Organization vaccine preventable diseases (Global)
Additional Vaccine Information:
- American Academy of Pediatrics (US)
- GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance (Global)
- UNICEF (Global)