Misinformation: YouTube begins verification of videos by UK health workers


YOUTUBE has launched a verification system for United Kingdom-based doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to curb the spread of misinformation and fake medical news on its platform.

The FactCheckHub had earlier reported that the video-sharing platform announced a new framework aimed at combating medical misinformation that contradicts local health authorities or the World Health Organization (WHO) on its platform.

Vishaal Virani, team lead of UK Health content for YouTube, told the BBC that this is important owing to a vast number of people now accessing healthcare information on the platform.

The platform also introduced a new seal of approval to accounts run by licensed doctors, nurses, psychologists, and other healthcare practitioners or organizations who have passed stringent verification checks to fight misinformation.

“Whether we like it or not, whether we want it or not, whether the health industry is pushing for it or not, people are accessing health information online, Virani told the BBC.

“We need to do as good a job as possible to bring rigour to the content that they are subsequently consuming when they start their care journey online,” he said.

The verification process, which commenced in June, is now open for applications from healthcare professionals in the UK holding an active medical license.

YouTube accounts participating in the verification scheme are starting to receive the mark of authenticity for their videos, facilitating users in identifying content from qualified healthcare professionals.

Prospective health content creators must undergo a thorough, multi-step verification procedure in collaboration with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the National Health Service.

In addition, the verification process includes a review of previous videos, and accounts will not receive verification if they have previously shared medical misinformation on YouTube.

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Nurudeen Akewushola is a fact-checker with FactCheckHub. He has authored several fact checks which have contributed to the fight against information disorder. You can reach him via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 via Twitter.


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