Google-owned YouTube has removed 1 million videos that it believed in its wisdom carried “dangerous Covid-19 misinformation”. The contents had false cures or claims that were hoaxes since February 2020. YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan said if the website only focussed on what the company removed, “we’re missing the massive amount of content that people actually see”.
“Bad content represents only a tiny percentage of the billions of videos on YouTube (about 0.16 to 0.18% of the total number of views turn out to be content that violates our policies),” he wrote in a blog post on 25 August.
“Misinformation has moved from the marginal to the mainstream. No longer contained to the sealed-off worlds of Holocaust deniers or 9-11 truthers, it now stretches into every facet of society, sometimes tearing through communities with blistering speed,” he said.
“Our policies centre 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 said that it is working on accelerating the process for removing videos that contain misinformation while simultaneously delivering those from authoritative sources.
Mohan said that YouTube removes almost 10 million videos each quarter, “the majority of which don`t even reach 10 views.” “Speedy removals will always be important but we know they`re not nearly enough. Instead, it`s how we also treat all the content we`re leaving up on YouTube that gives us the best path forward,” he said.
YouTube is ratcheting up information from trusted sources and reducing the spread of videos with harmful misinformation. “For Covid-19, we rely on expert consensus from health organisations like the CDC and WHO to track the science as it develops. In most other cases, misinformation is less clear-cut,” Mohan said.
Other social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, have rolled out policies to reduce the spread and reach of such content. [IANS]