YouTube Yanks Over 1 Million COVID-19 Videos It Deems ‘Dangerous’
YouTube has removed more than 1 million videos on its platform containing alleged misinformation related to COVID-19.
The Google-owned company announced the figure in a blog post Wednesday, “Perspective: Tackling Misinformation on YouTube,” written by Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer.
“Since last February, we’ve removed over 1 million videos related to dangerous coronavirus information, like false cures or claims of a hoax,” he said. According to Mohan, the company focuses on removing content that can directly lead to “egregious real-world harm,” according to Mohan.
YouTube also addressed misinformation by optimizing search results to prioritize “quality” news and information from “trusted sources.” For information related to COVID-19, the company relied on “expert consensus” from health organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.
“In the midst of a global pandemic, everyone should be armed with absolutely the best information available to keep themselves and their families safe,” Mohan said.
YouTube received criticism for enforcing its COVID-19 misinformation policies after it suspended Sen. Rand Paul’s account and removed several of the Kentucky Republican’s videos over claims that cloth masks were not effective at stopping the spread of the virus. The tech company also removed Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis’ video of a press conference announcing her lawsuit against New York City over vaccine mandates.
YouTube’s announcement comes amid pressure from the Biden administration on tech companies to more aggressively police content for alleged COVID-19 misinformation. The White House announced it was flagging posts for Facebook to remove last month and said that spreaders of misinformation should be banned from all social media platforms.
Cross-posted from the Daily Signal
When the government is dictating censorship to private companies, openly admitted as coming out of the White House, we need to know why there aren’t challenges against this in the courts. A private platform with no ties to the government can do this sort of thing, but as soon as the government has become involved, there is no right to circumvent free speech by having a degree of separation between yourself and the company.
The company is acting on the orders of the White House and other government offices; this takes away the freedom as a private organization away even more, when the government openly admits they are flagging and these social sites are having their actions dictated to by the government.
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