YouTube Is Cracking Down on Coronavirus Misinformation
The platform is taking a strong stance against phony advice, conspiracy theories and fake cures
As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the world, so too does harmful misinformation about the virus and how to treat and prevent it. In an attempt to slow the spread of unsubstantiated COVID-19 claims, YouTube is banning any content that contradicts the pandemic guidelines from the World Health Organization.
In a statement, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said the ban will consider “anything that would go against World Health Organization recommendations” a violation.
“So people saying, ‘Take vitamin C, take turmeric, we’ll cure you,’ those are the examples of things that would be a violation of our policy,” she told CNN.
In addition to scrubbing the platform of phony medical advice, YouTube has announced it will also be taking down any videos promoting the bizarre conspiracy theory linking the COVID-19 pandemic to 5G cell service.
Wojcicki said the Google-owned company wants to eliminate misinformation on the platform, adding that the site has seen a 75-percent increase in demand for credible reporting in the wake of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, other platforms are taking similar measures to halt the spread of coronavirus misinformation online. Facebook has announced that any user watching potentially misleading coronavirus content on the platform would receive a notification encouraging them to consult the WHO guidelines.
“So if people say drinking bleach is going to help you vaccinate yourself against coronavirus — that is dangerous,” Facebook’s vice president of global affairs and communications Nick Clegg said in an interview with NPR. “We will not allow that to happen. We won’t even allow folk to say social distancing makes no difference in dealing with this pandemic.”
So if you’re looking for tips on, say, ingesting harmful chemicals to cure coronavirus, look elsewhere. (Just kidding, please don’t do that.)
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