‘YouTube is a major source of misinformation,’ says global fact-checker coalition

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YouTube is a major source of online disinformation and fake news around the world, and it isn’t doing enough to tackle the spread of lies on its platform, according to a global coalition of fact-checking organizations. The video platform hosts content from groups like Doctors for the Truth, which spread misinformation about COVID, and videos that have supported the account of the fraud in the US presidential election, according to a letter signed by more than 80 organizations, including Full Fact in the UK and Washington Post Fact Checker.

The letter from fact-checking organizations to YouTube urges CEO Susan Wojcicki to make four changes to how the streaming platform works. According to The Guardian, the changes include: funding independent research into disinformation campaigns on the platform; provide links to rebuttals in videos disseminating disinformation and disinformation; prevent its algorithms from promoting repeat offenders; and do more to fight the lies in non-English speaking videos.

The signatories come from over 40 nations and come from a variety of financial backgrounds. Complete fact; a British charity, Washington Post Fact Checker; a fact-checking foundation supported by the eponymous newspaper, Maldita, a fact-checking organization in Spain, and India Today; a unit of the private TV Today Network, are part of it. Fact-checkers cite examples of inaccurate content regarding former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos – whose son is running for president – and the amplification of hate speech against vulnerable groups in Brazil.

Disinformation is when false information is shared deliberately, with the intent to deceive. Misinformation is when false information is shared with no intention of causing harm. According to the letter from the factcheckers, YouTube’s failure to tackle misinformation and misinformation is particularly pronounced in the southern part of the world, which includes countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa. Concerns over security measures in non-English speaking regions were a major factor in Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s decision to go public with the company’s issues.

“YouTube allows its platform to be militarized by unscrupulous actors to manipulate and exploit others, and to organize and finance itself. Current measures are insufficient,” reads the letter to YouTube. , according to The Guardian. Further, he describes the Google-owned streaming platform as a “major conduit for lies”.

The letter adds: “We hope you will consider implementing these ideas for the public good and making YouTube a platform that really does its best to prevent misinformation and misinformation from being militarized against its users and society as a whole. “

YouTube responds by saying “has invested heavily in policies to reduce borderline disinformation”

Elena Hernandez, a spokesperson for YouTube, responded to the letter saying the company has invested heavily in policies such as reducing the spread of “borderline” disinformation, which is a term for content that is approximates – but not quite over the line. de – violating platform guidelines, The Guardian reported.

According to the guidelines of the YouTube community, certain categories of deceptive or deceptive content posing a serious risk of serious harm are prohibited, including the promotion of unsafe drugs or treatments and election interference. Non-English speaking countries such as Vietnam, India and Brazil lead the top 10 countries for banned videos, according to YouTube. YouTube took action to tackle COVID disinformation, banning false claims about COVID vaccinations in October 2020, shortly after Facebook took similar action on its own site. A year later, he announced that videos that spread misinformation about all vaccines would be removed.

(With contributions from the Agencies)

Image: Unsplash

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