YouTube Lets Its Platform Be ‘Weaponised’ to Spread Misinformation, Fact Checkers Claim

More than 80 reality checking organisations are calling on YouTube to handle what they are saying is rampant incorrect information at the platform.

In a letter to CEO Susan Wojcicki printed Wednesday, the teams say the Google-owned video platform is “one of the major conduits of online disinformation and misinformation worldwide.”

YouTube’s efforts to handle the issue, they are saying, are proving inadequate.

“What we do not see is much effort by YouTube to implement policies that address the problem,” the letter says. “On the contrary, YouTube is allowing its platform to be weaponised by unscrupulous actors to manipulate and exploit others, and to organise and fundraise themselves.”

The downside, those teams stated, is particularly rampant in non-English talking international locations and the worldwide south.

The reality checkers are all participants of the International Fact Checking Network and come with Rappler within the Philippines, Africa Check, Science Feedback in France and dozens of different teams. They lambasted YouTube, announcing it frames discussions about disinformation as a “false dichotomy” of deleting or not deleting content.

Displaying fact-checked information is more effective than deleting content, the fact checkers wrote.

They propose that YouTube focuses on providing context and debunks that are “clearly superimposed” on movies. They also referred to as for YouTube to behave in opposition to repeat offenders and fortify efforts in opposition to incorrect information in languages instead of English.

In a observation, YouTube spokesperson Elena Hernandez stated the corporate has “invested heavily in policies and products in all countries we operate to connect people to authoritative content, reduce the spread of borderline misinformation, and remove violative videos.”

She referred to as reality checking “a crucial tool to help viewers make their own informed decisions,” however added that it’s “one piece of a much larger puzzle to address the spread of misinformation.”

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