YouTube, the titan of online video content, has expanded its Covid misinformation policy to cover what it calls all forms of medical misinformation.
(Article cross-posted from Reclaim The Net)
YouTube has also declared its plan to delist videos promoting “cancer treatments proven to be harmful or ineffective,” effectively disallowing content creators from encouraging natural cures.
The platform pledges to implement its medical misinformation policies when a topic exhibits high public health risks, is supposedly prone to misinformation, and when official guidance from health authorities is accessible to the public.
The changes also see YouTube recommitting to groups such as the WHO and other health bodies on what information is deemed to be acceptable for people to talk about on the platform – despite these institutions having recently received major blows to their credibility.
According to the policy update, YouTube will no longer host content that:
- Misinforms about prevention techniques or contradicts current health authority guidelines, including inaccuracies regarding the safety or efficacy of approved vaccines.
- Promotes treatments that local health bodies or the WHO have neither approved nor recognized as safe and effective. Moreover, it bans content that advocates for harmful substances or practices that have been scientifically proven to be detrimental.
- Denies the existence of specific health conditions.
As stated in its blog post, YouTube intends to punish content promoting not only what it believes to be overtly harmful treatments but also unproven ones that are audaciously offered as replacements for recognized alternatives.
For instance, influencers suggesting vitamin C supplements or garlic for cancer may have their content removed, the post states.
This marks a substantial escalation in the Google-owned platform’s ongoing crusade against what it believes to be the dissemination of medical misinformation, heavily catalyzed by the controversial experience of battling narratives about themes such as COVID-19 and vaccines, something YouTube was heavily criticized for as truthful content ended up being censored on the platform.
YouTube had targeted vaccine “misinformation,” such as demonetizing and deleting vaccine skepticism, thereby refining their approach in response to the global pandemic situation.