YouTube strengthens medical misinformation policy

Alongside content removal, the platform plans to spotlight cancer-related information from reputable sources such as the Mayo Clinic.

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YouTube has unveiled a reinforced medical misinformation policy focusing on removing content promoting false cancer treatments. This initiative forms part of YouTube’s broader framework, categorising content under prevention, treatment, and denial, allowing for a better assessment of misinformation’s impact. Dr Garth Graham, head of YouTube Health, emphasised the platform’s commitment to balancing eradicating harmful content and fostering open discussions. The updated policy encompasses proven ineffective or dangerous claims, discouraging users from seeking proper medical care. It targets treatments that contradict established medical practices and authoritative health guidelines.

Nevertheless, the practical implementation of this policy remains a challenge. YouTube intends to blend human and automated moderation to ensure adherence. The company aims to immediately initiate the new cancer treatment misinformation restrictions, with increased enforcement efforts in the following weeks. Beyond content removal, YouTube plans to elevate reliable sources by promoting cancer-related content from reputable institutions like the Mayo Clinic.

Why does it matter?

YouTube’s new approach comes as it has already implemented measures against false information about vaccines, abortions, and eating disorders. This move showcases the ongoing need for curbing medical misinformation and providing accurate health information to its users.