Video streaming platform YouTube will streamline existing medical misinformation guidelines for specific health conditions, treatments, and substances where content contradicts local health authorities or the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Starting today and ramping up in the coming weeks, we will begin removing content that promotes cancer treatments proven to be harmful or ineffective, or content that discourages viewers from seeking professional medical treatment,” YouTube said in a blogpost on August 15. Such treatments listed in the blogpost include “garlic cures cancer,” or”take vitamin C instead of radiation therapy”, which would be removed — the company said.
As part of the “long-term vision” for its medical misinformation policies, the guidelines will fall under three categories Prevention, Treatment, and Denial, the blogpost by YouTube’s Director and Global Head of Healthcare and Public Health Partnerships, Garth Graham and company’s VP and Global Head of Trust and Safety, Matt Halprin said. “These policies will apply to specific health conditions, treatments, and substances where content contradicts local health authorities or WHO,” the blogpost said. YouTube will age-gate content or surface an information panel under such videos for additional context, the post added.
Exceptions to such posts include public interest content like comments made by national political candidates on the campaign trail that disputes health authority guidance, or graphic footage from active warzones or humanitarian crises. “We may also make exceptions for personal testimonies or content that discusses the results of a specific medical study,” the post said. The step is said to simplify the company’s approach for creators, viewers, and partners.