YouTube wants to sort through the pseudo doctors that abound on its platform, but how?


Vincent Mannessier

October 28, 2022 at 3:10 p.m.

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YouTube logo © © Adam Fejes / Pexels

© Adam Fejes / Pexels

The misinformation about Youtube is far from being a recent problem, especially in the field of health.

Having become particularly visible during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, false medical information has enjoyed a growing audience in recent years. To fight against these, whether they are issued for lack of information or to push a conspiratorial agenda, the director of the health division on YouTube announced the development of a means of differentiating and highlighting verified information. , posted by real industry professionals.

YouTube, engine of conspiracy in spite of itself

Far from being the worst social network in this area, the video-sharing platform still continues to represent fertile ground for misinformation on many subjects. Relatively effective moderation compared to others is causing many rumors to grow elsewhere, starting with WhatsApp, but YouTube is far from spared. And conspiracy, which has had its heyday since the COVID-19 pandemic, continues to develop there.

This type of content does not only pose a moral problem for the platform, which in fact gives them exposure. Indeed, if the real balance sheet is difficult to estimate, conspiracy is particularly guilty of having convinced tens of thousands of people not to be vaccinated. For the Google subsidiary, this risks scaring away investors and may constitute a legal risk if it were sued by states or families of victims.

But, as often in this case, YouTube is paying for its economic model here, which consists of highlighting the content most likely to engage the audience, and therefore, which is often the most polarizing. The seriousness of the information is not a data taken into account by the algorithm.

An acronym to highlight professional content

In an attempt to address an increasingly visible problem, YouTube has decided to react. Through the voice of its director of health content, the company announced the upcoming arrival of a new feature that will quickly and clearly identify whether the person behind the video is a qualified and serious professional. .

It will be an easily visible panel below the video and which will specify the seriousness of its author. This feature should also make it possible to sort health content to see only those that are certified in this way. To qualify, content creators must apply for the program, which they can do now. Their application must be accompanied by proof that they actually practice a medical profession, and their YouTube channel must exhibit a certain level of professionalism. They must also follow the recommendations of several organizations, including the WHO, on how to share medical information.

If this new possibility offered seems to be a step in the right direction, it remains to be seen in practice. Nor should it overshadow traditional moderation, in which YouTube can still do much better.

Sources: Engadget, Gizmodo

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YouTube is a video streaming platform on which any Internet user can upload their videos, view those of other users, create their own thematic channel and develop their audience. A true web 2.0 icon, YouTube has evolved over the years and therefore retains its well-established popularity.



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