YouTube to Remove Videos with Medical Misinformation
The video-sharing platform YouTube has updated its policy to combat medical misinformation regarding the treatment of cancer, COVID-19, and other illnesses. This update was reported in the company's blog.
The platform has organized its existing rules into three categories: prevention, treatment, and denial.
Misinformation about prevention: The company will remove content that contradicts health authorities' guidance on preventing and transmitting certain health conditions, as well as the safety and efficacy of approved vaccines. For instance, this pertains to content that promotes harmful substances for disease prevention.
Misinformation about treatment: YouTube will delete content that contradicts health authorities' guidance on treating specific health conditions, including the promotion of harmful substances or practices. Examples include content that encourages unverified treatments instead of seeking medical advice for certain illnesses, such as the promotion of cesium chloride as a cancer treatment.
Denial of misinformation: The service will remove content that denies the existence of certain illnesses. This applies to content that denies COVID-19-related deaths.
In this way, YouTube will remove content that contradicts established medical recommendations on topics such as COVID-19, reproductive health, cancer, and more.
The platform will assess content to determine its compliance with the new policy, considering its potential impact on public health. For instance, using the example of cancer, the company notes that many people rely on YouTube recommendations after receiving a diagnosis.
Content that hinders effective treatment or promotes unproven therapies will be deleted. However, videos that generate public interest may remain available, even if they violate the new rules.
It's worth noting that YouTube may retain content on the platform when a political candidate challenges official health recommendations or when public hearings involve the use of inaccurate information. In such cases, the platform will provide additional context for viewers.
Furthermore, British scientists have identified a new symptom of prolonged COVID-19, characterized by redness, itching, and tingling of the limbs. A report published in the medical journal The Lancet describes this new symptom observed in a 33-year-old man. He sought treatment at a specialized clinic after experiencing periodic "rapid purple discoloration" of his legs over a six-month period.