A study suggests that a quarter of the most-watched videos regarding the virus on YouTube are misleading or circulating inaccurate information.
The total false videos had been viewed 62 million times.
One of the false claims were the idea that medicinal companies already have a coronavirus vaccine but are denying to sell it.
“We are committed to reducing the spread of harmful misinformation” said YouTube.
The examiners suggested that accurate information and good quality had been uploaded to YouTube by health experts and government bodies. But most of the time, those videos were difficult to understand and lacked the audience appeal of YouTube stars and vloggers.
In a statement YouTube said “We’re committed to providing timely and helpful information at this critical time, including raising authoritative content, reducing the spread of harmful misinformation and showing information panels, using NHS and World Health Organization (WHO) data, to help combat misinformation.”
It added “We have clear policies that prohibit videos promoting medically unsubstantiated methods to prevent the coronavirus in place of seeking medical treatment, and we quickly remove videos violating these policies when flagged to us. Now any content that disputes the existence or transmission of Covid-19, as described by the WHO and the NHS is in violation of YouTube policies. For borderline content that could misinform users in harmful ways, we reduce recommendations.”
The study, published by BMJ Global Health, which looked at the most widely, watched coronavirus-related videos in English, since 21 March.
Specialist in disinformation and social media report, Marianna Spring said “In last few weeks, there has been a surge in highly polished content which is promoting conspiracy on YouTube – and they get very popular.”
So these findings are not surprising- although concerning.
The accurate information shared by government and public health bodies on YouTube tends to be more complex.
It is very difficult for social media sites to tackling this kind of content.
Once videos gain massive attention, even if they are removed, they can still continue to be uploaded by other users.
The study suggests that some mainstream media centres are also guilty of spreading misleading information.
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