Alternative streaming platforms are helping to spread coronavirus vaccine misinformation

And links to or copies of the videos have spread onto mainstream platforms

Alternative streaming platforms vaccines

Citation Molly Butler / Media Matters

Correction (3/29/21): This piece has been corrected to identify Lee Merritt as a woman.

Multiple alternative streaming platforms have been hosting videos promoting misinformation about coronavirus vaccines. These videos have often received significant numbers of views and have in turn been spread onto mainstream platforms like Facebook.

In recent months, as the vaccine rollout has ramped up in the United States and worldwide, mainstream social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, have struggled to combat content that is casting doubt or trying to create fear about coronavirus vaccines -- which are safe and effective -- despite their claims to ban vaccine misinformation on the platforms. In particular, videos targeting the vaccines have been spreading significantly.

But anti-vaccine videos are not spreading on just mainstream platforms: Alternative streaming platforms known for lax moderation rules -- BitChute, Rumble,, Brand New Tube, Infowars’ streaming platform, and Brighteon -- have hosted anti-vaccine videos in recent months that have earned millions of views combined. During that time, Media Matters has tracked multiple instances of this harmful content spreading to Facebook, in violation of that platform’s coronavirus misinformation ban.

Simone Gold
Planet Lockdown
Sherri Tenpenny Bitchute2
Vernon Coleman Brand New Tube
Lee Merritt Rumble1

Even when anti-vaccine videos from alternate platforms did not garner as high of engagement on Facebook, harmful misinformation that violates the company’s rules against coronavirus misinformation is still making it onto the platform.

Del Bigtree Brighteon

Other anti-vaccine videos, even those with very low Facebook engagement numbers, have still gotten high view counts on these alternative platforms.

  • In February, a video of a woman named Dolores Cahill falsely claiming mRNA vaccines would cause numerous deaths earned more than 420,000 views on and another 20,000 views on BitChute.
  • In March, a video falsely claiming that Bossche showed the vaccines will cause a “worldwide genocide” received more than 36,000 views on BitChute and 28,000 views on

Additionally, a video from Rumble of an apparent QAnon supporter who spoke at the rally before the January 6 insurrection claiming the vaccines are purposefully being used to kill people was repackaged and shared on Instagram in March, where it received more than 100,000 views.

Most of these alternate streaming platforms do not have rules that bar anti-vaccine misinformation and are known for carrying far-right content in general, though BitChute technically prohibits content that promotes “harmful activities,” which it defines as “the injection / ingestion of dangerous substances, self-harm, suicide and other activities that are intended to lead to someone getting badly hurt or worse.” When asked by Slate in March about the platform’s coronavirus vaccine misinformation content, Rumble did not directly address it.

Nonetheless, these alternative platforms have helped undermine mainstream platform’s efforts to ban anti-vaccine misinformation, and they have become significant vectors for misinformation that could harm the vaccination campaign needed to end the pandemic.