Google-owned video streaming service, YouTube has said that it has removed over a million videos with “dangerous misinformation around coronavirus” since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. The announcement from YouTube comes as social media and online platforms are under fire from political leaders for failing to curb the spread of misinformation and disinformation around coronavirus. YouTube made the announcement in a blog post, where the company said that it relies on expert consensus from health organisations, including the US Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organisation, but noted that, in some cases, “misinformation” is not clear cut as new facts emerge later on.
“Our policies center on the removal of any videos that can directly lead to egregious real world harm. Since February of 2020, we’ve removed over one million videos related to dangerous coronavirus information, like false cures or claims of a hoax,” YouTube’s chief product officer Neal Mohan said in the blog post. YouTube also said that it is working on accelerating the process for removing videos that contain misinformation while simultaneously delivering those from authoritative sources.
The company wrote in the blog post that YouTube removes close to 10 million videos every quarter and that the majority of them are watched less than 10 times before being taken down. “Speedy removals will always be important but we know they’re not nearly enough… The most important thing we can do is increase the good and decrease the bad,” Mohan said in the blog post.
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