YouTube urged to actively fight “rampant disinformation”

Conspiracy documentaries hosted without warning for years, faked amateur videos, promotion of false remedies … On YouTube, conspiracy has long been successful, but the platform seems to pass between indignations, unlike other social networks, Facebook in the lead . Until now ?

“Every day we see that YouTube is one of the main vectors of online disinformation in the world”, explain these media and NGOs based in forty countries such as the United States, Spain, Senegal and Kenya. We don’t see a lot of effort from YouTube to implement policies that solve the problem. ”

These statements were addressed directly to YouTube boss Susan Wojcicki. She responded by indicating that she had “Heavily invested in policies and products (…) to reduce the spread of false information”. On a dedicated page, the platform declares to use several functionalities, and in particular “Machine learning systems” that highlight information from trusted sources in research findings and recommendations.

In August 2021, the firm also published a blog post to extol the merits of its tools. We learned that since February 2020, YouTube has deleted more than a million videos containing “Dangerous information about coronaviruses, like bogus medicine or hoax allegations”.

Not enough according to the media and NGOs, who say they want “Engage with YouTube to make their proposals a reality”. Proposals which concern, for example, the improvement of the transparency of algorithms, more severity for “recidivist” accounts, or even increased efforts for the moderation of non-English-speaking videos which are played regularly. “Under the radar”. A final point also raised by Frances Haugen, Facebook whistleblower, during her hearings around the world.

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