YouTube removes 1 million videos containing Covid-19 fake news

YouTube removed over 1 million videos since February 2020 to combat the spread of Covid-19 misinformation.

“Misinformation has moved from the marginal to the mainstream,” said Neal Mohan, chief product officer at YouTube.

“The most important thing we can do is increase the good and decrease the bad. That’s why at YouTube we’re ratcheting up information from trusted sources and reducing the spread of videos with harmful misinformation.”

According to YouTube, when users search for information, they now see results adjusted for quality, not for how shocking it could be.

Mahon explained that “bad content” makes up a small percentage of the content uploaded to YouTube.

“Today, we remove nearly 10 million videos a quarter, the majority of which don’t even reach 10 views,” he said.

YouTube said that regarding Covid-19, they rely on consensus from experts at health organisations like the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organisation).

“Since February of 2020 we’ve removed over [a million] videos related to dangerous coronavirus information, like false cures or claims of a hoax,” Mahon stated.

The YouTube executive explained that there is a balance to be observed when removing content.

“An overly aggressive approach towards removals would also have a chilling effect on free speech,” he said.

Mahon acknowledged the responsibility YouTube holds in stopping the spread of misinformation, “we reflect the world around us, but know we can also help shape it.”

“And that’s why we’ve made stopping the spread of misinformation one of our deepest commitments.”


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YouTube removes 1 million videos containing Covid-19 fake news