Coronavirus disinformation and conspiracy theories are rife on YouTube. Now the platform wants to act more strictly against false statements about the Covid-19 vaccine.
With the ongoing corona pandemic, a large amount of misinformation about the virus is also spreading on the Internet. For example, it is claimed that vaccines against Covid-19 actually pose a threat to people. YouTube was now forced to take action against some of the false statements, as Forbes reports. In the future, content that claims that a possible vaccine would be fatal, lead to infertility or implant microchips in people will be blocked from YouTube. If only basic concerns are expressed about the vaccine, the content may remain.
A wide field of misinformation about the coronavirus
YouTube wants to block posts that directly contradict the consensus of experts, such as the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO representatives would meet with YouTube’s policy team weekly to discuss problematic trends and videos. Andy Pattison, YouTubes Manager of Digital Solutions, told Reuters.
It seems that content that spreads general misinformation about the coronavirus is not an insignificant problem on YouTube. Because the platform claims to have removed over 200,000 such videos since February. The contents of these range from the false claim that 5G would cause the coronavirus to confused conspiracy theories surrounding Bill Gates’ alleged intention to implant microchips into humanity.
Not only YouTube is affected
But not only YouTube is affected by the increased spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories. Since the beginning of the corona pandemic, theories and claims that contradict the consistent statements of the health authorities have been popularized throughout the social media landscape – many of them without any rational justification. It is therefore to be welcomed that YouTube now wants to take stricter action against misinformation about the Covid-19 vaccine.
Social media has such an enormous reach that spreading false statements there can have fatal consequences. Not only potential vaccines against the coronavirus are considered dangerous by some users. Anti-vaccination campaigns also spread misinformation about vaccines in general. Just a few days ago, Facebook decided to ban advertising that should or could induce people not to be vaccinated. In addition, since August, Google has been restricting the monetization options for sites that post conspiracy theories. It is to be hoped that platforms like YouTube will curb the spread of dangerous false statements even better in the future.
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