Asean – The anti-vaccination YouTube videos by the Healing the Divide group, which were posted on the channel of its founder Iris Koh, have been removed, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Sunday (Nov 7).
The videos, which contain false claims warning people about the dangers of vaccination, were taken down from YouTube by the Google-owned platform itself for violating its community guidelines. They include the videos “Town Hall Meeting: United We Stand For Choice” and “Healing the Divide: Remembering Those We Love and Lost”.
MOH said in a statement that Iris Koh’s channel has a history of posting and sharing content that perpetuates falsehoods and misleading information about Covid-19 and vaccines.
The group’s website claims that it brings together Singaporeans concerned about Covid-19 vaccines, and the group also regularly promotes the use of unproven and unapproved treatments like ivermectin.
“The Government takes a serious view of the deliberate communication of these falsehoods and will not hesitate to take action against those who put the public’s health and well-being at risk by spreading misinformation about Covid-19 and vaccines,” said the ministry, adding that social media giant Facebook has also suspended Ms Koh’s account more than once.
“We advise members of the public not to speculate and/or spread misinformation which may cause public alarm, and to refer to credible sources of information instead,” added MOH.
A YouTube spokesperson said the platform is committed to keeping YouTube safe from harmful Covid-19 misinformation.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve had clear and established Covid-19 medical misinformation policies,” it said.
In October 2020, YouTube announced that it would expand its medical misinformation policy on Covid-19 to remove claims of vaccinations that “contradict expert consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organization”.
It also provides vaccine alerts that direct users towards authoritative information about the vaccine.
YouTube has since removed over 130,000 videos for violating this policy, said its spokesperson.