COVID-19 medical misinformation policy

The safety of our creators, viewers, and partners is our highest priority. We look to each of you to help us protect this unique and vibrant community. It’s important you understand our Community Guidelines, and the role they play in our shared responsibility to keep YouTube safe. Take the time to carefully read the policy below. You can also check out this page for a full list of our guidelines.

YouTube doesn't allow content about COVID-19 that poses a serious risk of egregious harm. 

YouTube doesn't allow content that spreads medical misinformation that contradicts local health authorities’ or the World Health Organization’s (WHO) medical information about COVID-19. This is limited to content that contradicts WHO or local health authorities’ guidance on:

  • Treatment 
  • Prevention
  • Diagnostic 
  • Transmission
  • Social distancing and self isolation guidelines
  • The existence of COVID-19
     

Note: YouTube’s policies on COVID-19 are subject to change in response to changes to global or local health authorities’ guidance on the virus. This policy was published on May 20, 2020. 

What this policy means for you

If you're posting content

Don’t post content on YouTube if it includes any of the following:

Treatment misinformation

  • Content that encourages the use of home remedies, prayer, or rituals in place of medical treatment such as  consulting a doctor or going to the hospital
  • Content that claims that there’s a guaranteed cure for COVID-19
  • Other content that discourages people from consulting a medical professional or seeking medical advice

Prevention misinformation: Content that promotes prevention methods that contradict local health authorities or WHO.

  • Claims that there is a guaranteed prevention method for COVID-19
    • Claims that any medication or vaccination is a guaranteed prevention method for COVID-19
  • Claims about COVID-19 vaccinations that contradict expert consensus from local health authorities or WHO
    • Claims that an approved COVID-19 vaccine will cause death, infertility, or contraction of other infectious diseases
    • Claims that an approved COVID-19 vaccine will contain substances that are not on the vaccine ingredient list, such as fetal tissue
    • Claims that an approved COVID-19 vaccine will contain substances or devices meant to track or identify those who’ve received it
    • Claims that an approved COVID-19 vaccine will alter a person’s genetic makeup
    • Claims that any vaccine causes contraction of COVID-19
    • Claims that a specific population will be required (by any entity except for a government) to take part in vaccine trials or receive the vaccine first

Diagnostic misinformation: Content that promotes diagnostic methods that contradict local health authorities or WHO.

Transmission misinformation: Content that promotes transmission information that contradicts local health authorities or WHO.

  • Content that claims that COVID-19 is not caused by a viral infection
  • Content that claims COVID-19 is not contagious
  • Content that claims that COVID-19 cannot spread in certain climates or geographies
  • Content that claims that any group or individual has immunity to the virus or cannot transmit the virus

Social distancing and self isolation misinformation: Content that disputes the efficacy of local health authorities’ or WHO's guidance on physical distancing or self-isolation measures to reduce transmission of COVID-19.

Content that denies the existence of COVID-19:

  • Denial that COVID-19 exists 
  • Claims that people have not died or gotten sick from COVID-19
  • Claims that the virus no longer exists or that the pandemic is over
  • Claims that the symptoms, death rates, or contagiousness of COVID-19 are less severe or equally as severe as the common cold or seasonal flu
  • Claims that the symptoms of COVID-19 are never severe

Educational, documentary, scientific or artistic content

We may allow content that violates the misinformation policies noted on this page if that content includes context that gives equal or greater weight to countervailing views from local health authorities or to medical or scientific consensus. We may also make exceptions if the purpose of the content is to condemn or dispute misinformation that violates our policies. This context must appear in the images or audio of the video itself. Providing it in the title or description is insufficient.

Examples

Here are some examples of content that’s not allowed on YouTube:

  • Denial that COVID-19 exists
  • Claims that people have not died from COVID-19
  • Claims that any vaccine is a guaranteed prevention method for COVID-19
  • Claims that a specific treatment or medicine is a guaranteed cure for COVID-19
  • Claims that certain people have immunity to COVID-19 due to their race or nationality
  • Encouraging taking home remedies instead of getting medical treatment when sick
  • Discouraging people from consulting a medical professional if they’re sick
  • Content that claims that holding your breath can be used as a diagnostic test for COVID-19
  • Videos alleging that if you avoid Asian food, you won’t get the coronavirus
  • Videos alleging that setting off fireworks can clean the air of the virus and will prevent the spread of the virus
  • Claims that COVID-19 is caused by radiation from 5G networks
  • Videos alleging that the COVID-19 test is the cause of the virus
  • Claims that countries with hot climates will not experience the spread of the virus
  • Videos alleging that social distancing and self-isolation are not effective in reducing the spread of the virus
  • Claims that the COVID-19 vaccine will kill people who receive it
  • Claims that the COVID-19 vaccine will be used as a means of population reduction
  • Videos claiming that the COVID-19 vaccine will contain fetal tissue
  • Claims that the flu vaccine causes contraction of COVID-19
  • Claims that the COVID-19 vaccine causes contraction of other infectious diseases or makes people more vulnerable to contraction of other infectious diseases
  • Claims that the COVID-19 vaccine will contain a microchip or tracking device
  • Claims that COVID-19 never causes serious  symptoms or hospitalization
  • Claims that the death rate from the seasonal flu is higher than the death rate of COVID-19
  • Claims that people are immune to the virus based on their race
  • Claims that children cannot or do not contract COVID-19
  • Claims that there have not been cases or deaths in countries where cases or deaths have been confirmed by local health authorities or the WHO
     

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 this is your first time violating our Community Guidelines, you’ll get a warning with no penalty to your channel. If it’s not, we’ll issue a strike against your channel. If you get 3 strikes, your channel will be terminated. You can learn more about our strikes system here.

 

 

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?