After targeting conspiratorial videos demonstrating the so-called ineffectiveness of vaccines and content questioning the Covid-19 pandemic, YouTube wants to go further in its fight against medical misinformation. In a post posted last week and spotted by France Inter, the video-sharing platform says it wants to define a legal framework “consisting of removing extremely harmful content while guaranteeing a space for debate and discussion”. “YouTube is not a platform for disseminating information that could harm people,” warn Garth Graham and Matt Halprin, authors of the post and YouTube employees.
The American giant notably targets videos encouraging alternative methods of care without scientific evidence, citing the example of “the promotion of cesium chloride as a treatment for cancer”. Videos dealing with cancer will obviously be the most scrutinized. In their post, the two YouTube executives explain that people looking for answers about this disease should find high-quality content from credible medical sources.
“Cancer Curing Garlic”
YouTube announces the removal “from now and for the next few weeks” of content promoting treatments proven to be ineffective or dangerous or which encourage patients to follow their medical treatment. The two authors cite in particular the examples of “garlic curing cancer” or “vitamin C instead of radiotherapy”.
The platform could tackle the content of its member Thierry Casasnovas, who has nearly 600,000 subscribers on his “vulgarization” channel offering “a more natural approach”. Follower of raw food, the one who is sometimes described as a “guru” was indicted in March in particular for “illegal practice of medicine”. Even before the media coverage of his legal setbacks, the man was the subject of more than 600 reports.