YouTube has removed a staggering 1 million videos over ‘dangerous’ COVID-19 misinformation
Since February 2020, the platform has removed 1 million videos regarding COVID-19 misinformation.
YouTube, the go-to site for people looking for funny videos, vlogs, and conspiracy theories released a new blog post this week detailing its efforts to balance the removal of harmful content with free speech. In that post, it was noted that the platform has removed over 1 million videos over ‘dangerous’ COVID-19 misinformation.
This timeframe goes back to February 2020, which was the time where the coronavirus first started ripping its way across the globe. According to YouTube’s Chief Product Officer, Neal Mohan, misinformation from Holocaust deniers, 9-11 truthers, and just generally “bad content” makes up only a small portion of the platform’s views – .16-.18%.
Mohan also explains why YouTube allows some of this content at first before removing it, and it is about what you’d expect. Essentially, it comes down to allowing misinformation until YouTube can point to official sources for removal justification.
One example Mohan uses looks back at the 2020 election, where YouTube allowed many sketchy election videos in the wake of the election. He notes that as official information from states began rolling in, YouTube jumped in to remove videos that contradicted these facts.
If there is one silver lining here, is that many of the videos that YouTube has to remove have a very low impact on the platform and have under 10 views.
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