YouTube is the main vector of fake news, according to factcheckers | Youtube

YouTube is a major vector of online disinformation and disinformation around the world and does not do enough to tackle the spread of lies on its platform, according to a global coalition of fact-checking organizations.

A letter signed by more than 80 groups, including Full Fact in the UK and The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, says the video platform hosts content from groups such as Doctors for the Truth, which spread misinformation about Covid, and videos supporting the “fraud” story. in the US presidential election.

“YouTube allows its platform to be militarized by unscrupulous actors to manipulate and exploit others, and to organize and finance itself. The current measures are proving insufficient,” said the letter to the CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, who describes YouTube as a “major channel” for lies.

The letter urges Google-owned YouTube to make four changes to its operations: a commitment to fund 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.

“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 at large. “, indicates the letter.

Disinformation is the deliberate dissemination of false information that intends to cause harm, while disinformation is when false information is shared but no harm is intended.

The letter from the factcheckers, who challenge claims from national governments, online publications and media organizations, says YouTube’s failure to tackle misinformation and disinformation is particularly pronounced in the south of the world, a term that reference to countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa. . Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower, has repeatedly referred to concerns about security checks in non-English speaking markets as a key factor in her decision to go public with the company’s social media issues.

The signatories, which include fact-checking groups in India, Nigeria, the Philippines and Colombia, include examples of bogus content about the reign of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos – whose son is a candidate – and the amplification of hate speech against vulnerable groups in Brazil.

Signatories hail from over 40 countries with a range of funding backgrounds. These include: Full Fact, a UK charity, Washington Post Fact Checker, funded by the eponymous newspaper Maldita in Spain, a fact-checking foundation; and India Today, a unit of the private TV Today Network.

Youtube Community rules declare that “certain types of deceptive or deceptive content presenting a serious risk of flagrant harm” are prohibited from the platform, which includes the promotion of harmful remedies or treatment and electoral interference. YouTube also designates the top ten countries for deleted videos, which is dominated by non-English speaking countries such as Vietnam, India, and Brazil.

YouTube took action to crack down on disinformation about Covid and, in October 2020, banned disinformation about Covid vaccinations, shortly after Facebook took similar action on its own platform. A year later, he announced that he would remove videos spreading misinformation about all vaccines.

In response to the letter, Elena Hernandez, a YouTube spokesperson said the company has invested heavily in policies such as reducing the spread of ‘borderline’ disinformation, a term for content that comes close – but not quite over the line. – violation of the platform’s guidelines.

“Over the years, we’ve invested heavily in policies and products in every country we operate to connect people to authoritative content, reduce the spread of borderline disinformation, and remove abusive videos,” Hernandez said. . “We’ve seen significant progress, keeping the recommended disinformation consumption limit well below 1% of all views on YouTube, and only about 0.21% of all views are non-compliant content which we later remove. . We are always looking for meaningful ways to improve and will continue to strengthen our work with the fact-checking community.

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