While the U.S. government is targeting Facebook’s perceived lack of efforts to combat medical misinformation, YouTube has unveiled its latest attempt, adding new tags to videos from relevant health sources and prioritizing links to those clips in searches related to health issues.
As you can see here, videos from recognized health sources on the platform will now feature an ‘accredited hospital’ or similar informant, providing additional warranty and content confirmation. And when you’re looking for a health problem, YouTube has added a new one ‘a health content shelf ’at the top of the results page that will lead to content from these identified sources.
According to YouTube:
“These contextual goals are aimed at helping people travel more easily and assess credible health information. People will still be able to find relevant videos from a range of sources in their search results.”
Thus, YouTube does not limit search results to videos of these providers, but wants to give them an advantage in searches, which will ideally link people to more recognized, approved health information and avoid them slipping through rabbit holes conspiracy theories and false information that could harm public debate.
Which is a key issue declared by the Biden administration last week, and U.S. President Joe Biden said Facebook was “killing people” by failing to properly address the distribution of anti-vax content on its platforms. Biden, meanwhile, returned to his statement, saying that instead Facebook must do more to specifically address users who are known stakeholders in health misinformation, based on a recent report that found that 60% of misinformation about the COVID vaccine comes from just a dozen accounts on social media.
Since those accounts are known, Biden says Facebook could do more to protect people. In response, Facebook has strongly defended its actions in resolving misinformation about COVID and contributing to a broader vaccination drive.
Facebook and YouTube have become key distributors of information, and platforms are now among the headlines for Americans, and probably in many other regions of the Western world. As such, it is a burden on the platforms to do everything in their power to combat misinformation and highlight relevant resources as a means of ensuring that people remain well informed about the risks and benefits of key health efforts.
Both platforms have actually been fighting the moment against vaccines for years, but with a significant amount of people still resisting vaccine suppression, the risk is now that we won’t be able to move beyond the pandemic as it will continue to live among a growing cohort of vaccines.
YouTube says it has worked with various health groups to establish a new list of approved sources, while wider access to the new lists has been recommended by medical experts:
“We have applied the principles developed by an expert committee convened by the National Medical Academy, a non-profit, non-governmental organization that brings together top experts in health, medicine and biomedical science to provide unbiased, evidence-based guidelines on health and science. The National Medical Academy regularly reviews complex issues related to health, medicine and biomedical science and over the years have provided guidance on everything from opioid epidemic control to gene editing. “
Some will no doubt argue that this information is biased or motivated by other incentives, but the labels aim to provide greater validation and authority to official, government-approved health information, on a number of fronts.
We hope this will help connect more users with relevant information and stifle the noise of pseudo-scientific claims.
New bookmarks and recommendations will appear in the YouTube app starting today.