YouTube removes over 1 million COVID-19 misinformation videos

YouTube announced on Wednesday that it has removed over 1 million COVID-19 misinformation videos.

The video-based platform has being removing content related to false cures and claims of coronavirus being a fraud since February 2020, YouTube’s chief product officer Neal Mohan wrote in a blogpost.

Based on the data, the company removed around 10 million videos a quarter, most of them receiving less than 10 views before deletion.

As for the content volitation percentages, these videos represented a range of 0.16 percent to 0.18 percent of total views.

In response, YouTube is said to be working on enhancing coronavirus information from trusted sources such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), to reduce the spread of misinformation videos.

However, the platforms’ spokesperson noted the effect of video removals on freedom of speech, pointing to governments ordering for content to be taken down.

“An overly aggressive approach towards removals would also have a chilling effect on free speech,” Mohan wrote. “We’re seeing disturbing new momentum around governments ordering the takedown of content for political purposes,” he added.

Noticeably, YouTube removed in July videos from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s channel for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus outbreak.

Similarly, the spread of coronavirus misinformation seems to reach all social media platforms. Earlier this month, Facebook announced that it has removed more than 200 accounts that were involved in anti-vax disinformation campaigns.