YouTube is a major source of disinformation and misinformation worldwide but does too little to stop it from spreading. More than eighty organizations engaged in fact-checking, verifying information state this in an open letter to the American company.
The letter was signed by organizations from more than 40 countries, including the British Full Fact and Fact Checker of The Washington Post. They point out that incorrect information is shared in videos about, for example, the coronavirus and the American presidential elections of 2020. The fact that these videos are online shows that more needs to be done, according to them.
The organizations believe that YouTube should, among other things, support independent research and take more action against false information in non-English videos. In the letter, they write that YouTube allows “the unscrupulous” to use the video platform to manipulate and exploit others.
YouTube tells the British newspaper The Guardian that the company is already doing a lot. A spokesperson said that substantial investments had been made to combat the spread of false information and remove videos that violate user guidelines.
“We’ve seen significant progress,” said a spokesperson, who also notes that only a very small fraction of all views can be linked to content that is later removed for violating the guidelines.