YouTube is cracking down on cancer information and announced new rules this week.
In a blog post, the Google-owned company said it wants YouTube, a video social media platform, to be a place where people can come for quality health advice.
“As medical information … continuously evolves, YouTube needs a policy framework that holds up in the long term and preserves the important balance of removing egregiously harmful content while ensuring space for debate and discussion,” the company said in the post.
YouTube will be splitting problem videos into three categories: prevention, treatment and denial. Under the new policy, the site will remove or restrict videos that contradict the consensus on cancer treatment. So, if a video claims that cancer can be treated with vitamin C instead of radiation, the video will likely be taken down.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cancer was the leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2020 with more than 600,000 deaths.
The new policy is similar in style to the company’s policy toward vaccine and COVID-19-related information. In 2021, the company led the way in tackling news with a policy that some users claimed constituted censorship. If a video was tagged as being wrong, it would likely be removed or restricted until changes were made.
• Vaughn Cockayne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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