YouTube has launched a campaign in the UK alongside the National Health Service (NHS) to encourage young people to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
The multi-million-pound advertising campaign will feature the slogan “Let’s Not Go Back” and will focus on showing a return to group activities like concerts after the pandemic.
This is part of a larger promotional campaign being funded by the platform, which also includes ads on buses and bus stops, billboards, and on its own video-sharing site.
Until now, YouTube has faced a large amount of criticism for failing to take action against misinformation.
In March, the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) released a report stating: “Anti-vaccine activists on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter reach more than 59 million followers, making these the largest and most important social media platforms for anti-vaxxers.”
However, it has already removed 900,000 videos that broke its rules. Additionally, it recently changed its policies on how it will address the problem, like adding banners that link to authoritative sources of information, which have been clicked 500 billion times.
According to YouTube UK’s managing director, this campaign is part of the company’s plans to avoid “vaccine ambivalence,” particularly among younger people.
As life begins to return to normal this summer, there are concerns that vaccine uptake will be lower. However, YouTube says it has a “huge reach” among the under-35s, so it plans to communicate its message in a light-hearted, non-judgemental way.
It was also noted that, since the pandemic has moved so rapidly, YouTube has worked to consistently review and update its policies. It also works closely with health groups like the World Health Organization for information purposes.
Dr. Nikki Kanani, medical director for primary care at NHS England, said: “It is great to have support from platforms such as YouTube, to reassure people that the vaccine is safe, simple, and effective.