FAKE NEWS More than 80 fact-checking organizations from around the world have sent an open letter to urge YouTube management to take action against misinformation being spread on the platform

Fact-checking: YouTube is said to be the main vehicle for online disinformation

YouTube is ?one of the main vectors for online disinformation in the world? — Geeko

YouTube is said to be one of the biggest vectors of online misinformation in the world and is not doing enough to combat the spread of false information on its platform. That's it! what a global coalition of 80 fact-checking organizations denounces in a letter published on January 12 on Poynter.

YouTube, accomplice of disinformation?

This joint letter addressed to Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, refers to the platform owned by YouTube. Google”s “one of the world’s biggest vectors of online misinformation and fake news. Among the signatories are PolitiFact, The Washington Post, Africa Check, Maldita.es, or even the British charity Full Fact, according to which YouTube is not doing enough to tackle the problem of dementia. ;sinformation and allows“”   unscrupulous actors to use his platform as a weapon to manipulate and exploit others.

The signatories refer in particular to electoral fraud, hate speech, the QAnon conspiracy and conspiracy theories. According to them, they would be at the origin of the misinformation that led to injuries, deaths and the breakdown of families. For example, in 2020 Brian Lee Hitchens, a taxi driver in Florida, lost his wife to cause of the coronavirus. He confessed; have given his trust in Facebook content that claimed the pandemic was a hoax. Since then, the man has been warning about the dangers of conspiracy theories.

What the letter asks

First, fact-checking groups called to a commitment to meaningful transparency regarding misinformation on the platform. Second, the 80s require more context and demystification rather than being limited to simple deletion of videos. Finally, according to them, measures against repeat offenders should be considered.

To improve the situation, the fact-checkers are clear. YouTube will need to make increased efforts to fight misinformation, and in languages ​​other than English. Indeed, the detection of disinformation is all the more complex when the false content is not English-speaking or comes from developing countries. To illustrate the problem, the letter lists accounts from around the world that have the potential to cause real harm. All fell under the radar of YouTube’s content policies, which were described as “insufficient”.

Finally, YouTube should also rethink its recommendation algorithms to ensure that it “doesn’t actively promote misinformation to its users and does not recommend content from unrelated channels. reliable”.

YouTube defends itself

In response to; This letter, Elena Hernandez, spokeswoman for YouTube, said; to The Guardian that the company was already investing in in ways to “connect people to authoritative content, to “reduce the spread of misinformation” and to “remove violent videos” She adds: “We are always at looking for meaningful ways to improve ourselves and we will continue to do so. strengthen our work with the community fact-checking”.

On a dedicated page, the platform declares that it uses several features, including “machine learning systems”. Their goal is to highlight information from trusted sources in search results and recommendations.

YouTube has announced; last year that he would remove all false anti-vaccine information from his platform. The platform has also removed the videos posted by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, vectors of erroneous information on the coronavirus.

A possible collaboration

The media and NGO signatories of the letter proposed their collaboration in; the video hosting platform. “We are ready and able to help YouTube. We would like to meet with you to discuss these issues and find ways of working together, and we look forward to your response. this offer,” the letter concludes.