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A Look at YouTube’s New Medical Misinformation Policies

YouTube has recently announced a long-term vision for its medical misinformation policies.

This update aims to streamline existing guidelines and make the platform a reliable destination for high-quality health content.

YouTube’s new medical misinformation policies are designed to tackle misinformation related to health topics that pose serious real-world risks. 

The update focuses on three main categories: Prevention, Treatment, and Denial. The goal is to remove harmful content while preserving space for debate and discussion.

Three Key Categories

YouTube will now categorize medical misinformation into three main areas:

  • Prevention Misinformation: Content contradicting health authority guidance on preventing and transmitting specific health conditions will be removed.
  • Treatment Misinformation: Content that contradicts guidance on treatments for specific health conditions, including promoting harmful substances or practices, will be removed.
  • Denial Misinformation: Content that disputes the existence of specific health conditions will be removed.

The policies will apply to specific health conditions, treatments, and substances where content contradicts local health authorities or the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Moving forward, YouTube will streamline dozens of our existing medical misinformation guidelines to fall under three categories – Prevention, Treatment, and Denial.” announced Youtube.

Removing Cancer Treatment Misinformation

YouTube is taking a strong stance against cancer treatment misinformation. 

Content that promotes harmful or ineffective cancer treatments or discourages viewers from seeking professional medical treatment will be removed.

“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.” said Youtube

YouTube recognizes the importance of debate and discussion in advancing science and medicine. 

The platform will consider the context when enforcing policies and may allow content that is in the public interest to remain, even if it otherwise violates the guidelines.

“Debate and discussion are critical to the advancement of science and medicine. We always carefully take into account context when enforcing our policies, and allow content that provides educational, documentary, scientific, and artistic (EDSA) context.” said Youtube

YouTube’s updated approach aims to create a robust framework for future medical misinformation policies. 

The platform will continue monitoring local and global health authority guidance to ensure the policies adapt.

“Looking ahead, we want to make sure there is a robust framework to build upon when the need for new medical misinformation policies arises.” mentioned Youtube in a blog post

YouTube’s new medical misinformation policies reflect a commitment to providing accurate and reliable health information. 

By categorizing misinformation into Prevention, Treatment, and Denial and taking a firm stance against harmful content, YouTube is taking a significant step toward ensuring the safety and well-being of its users.

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