YouTube announced a crackdown on anti-vaccine content, but 2 people from the 'Disinformation Dozen' are still on the platform

YouTube announced a crackdown on anti-vaccine content, but 2 people from the 'Disinformation Dozen' are still on the platform
The "Disinformation Dozen" is a group of 12 prominent anti-vaccine activists and misinformation super spreaders identified by the Center for Countering Digital Hate. YouTube; Samantha Lee/Insider
  • YouTube banned misinformation related to any vaccines on Wednesday.
  • Kelly Brogan and Christiane Northrup, members of the "Disinformation Dozen," still have channels.
  • YouTube told Insider that it was looking into Brogan and Northrup's channels.

At least two people identified by a misinformation watchdog nonprofit as being superspreaders of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation still have YouTube channels, despite YouTube's announcement on Wednesday that it was cracking down on the spread of medical misinformation.

The Google-owned platform announced expanded guidelines in a blog post on Wednesday morning. In addition to targeting vaccine misinformation related to COVID-19 vaccines, the post states, the platform will now remove content that makes false claims about any vaccine shots.

YouTube terminated the channels of four anti-vaccine activists, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Joseph Mercola, Sherri Tenpenny, and Erin Elizabeth, a spokesperson told Insider, in line with the new policy.

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Those four people were identified by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) as part of the "Disinformation Dozen," a group of 12 prominent anti-vaxxers who "play leading roles" in spreading vaccine misinformation online, the British organization wrote in a report earlier this year.

YouTube has previously removed the channels of other "Disinformation Dozen" members, including the physician Rashid Buttar and the alternative medicine proponents Ty and Charlene Bollinger, the spokesperson told Insider.


As of Wednesday afternoon, channels for Kelly Brogan, an author of books on alternative medicine and the wife of prominent anti-vaccine activist Sayer Ji, and Christiane Northrup, a physician known for her embrace of anti-vaccine rhetoric, were still live on YouTube.

Insider did not identify anti-vaccine misinformation in available videos on the creators' channels, but both channels link to the creators' personal websites, which contain vaccine misinformation. Claims shared on Brogan's and Northrup's blog posts have been invalidated by numerous scientific studies.

Brogan's YouTube channel has over 23,000 subscribers and 1.3 million views, while Northrup's account has almost 73,000 subscribers and over 2.8 million views.

When reached for comment on Wednesday afternoon, a YouTube spokesperson said the company was looking into Brogan's and Northrup's channels.

President Joe Biden appeared to reference the CCDH's "Disinformation Dozen" in July while clarifying a comment he had previously made accusing social media websites like Facebook of "killing people" by not doing enough to combat COVID-19 vaccine misinformation.


"Facebook isn't killing people, these 12 people are out there giving misinformation," Biden told members of the press after speaking about the country's economic recovery. "Anyone listening to it is getting hurt by it. It's killing people. It's bad information."

Brogan and Northrup did not respond to requests for comment.

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