YouTube removes a million ‘dangerous’ videos on COVID-19


Amid the ongoing pandemic, the spread of fake news has been as dangerous as the virus itself. In response, social media giants such as Facebook have been stepping up the ante in their campaign to shut down pages that spread false claims about the pandemic.

 It looks like video sharing platform YouTube is doing its part as well. As per GMA News Online, YouTube has announced that it has removed more than one million videos with “dangerous coronavirus misinformation” since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Google-owned platform issued this statement as social media platforms are under fire from political leaders for failing to stem the spread of false and harmful misinformation and disinformation about the virus and other topics.

YouTube said in a blog post it relies on “expert consensus from health organizations,” including the US Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, but noted that, in some cases, “misinformation is less clear-cut” as new facts emerge.

“Our policies center on the removal of any videos that can directly lead to egregious real world harm,” chief product officer Neal Mohan wrote. “In the midst of a global pandemic, everyone should be armed with absolutely the best information available to keep themselves and their families safe.”

On its part, YouTube has been working to speed up the process for removing videos with misinformation while simultaneously delivering those from authoritative sources. Mohan said the platform currently removes close to 10 million videos per quarter and that the majority of them have been watched less than 10 times.

“When people now search for news or information, they get results optimized for quality, not for how sensational the content might be,” he explained.

Given how dangerous fear mongering fake news can be, it’s only right that YouTube is doing its part to ensure people are exposed to facts only. 

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