YouTube will soon start taking action against false information about cancer treatments. The latest attempt by the video streaming service to combat medical misinformation was on Tuesday.

YouTube aims to delete content that promotes cancer therapies that have been shown to be hazardous and ineffective, as well as those that discourage viewers from obtaining professional medical treatment, after saying in 2021 that it would take down videos containing false information about vaccines.

In the coming weeks, the activities are expected to intensify, according to a blog post published on Tuesday.

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Dr. Garth Graham, the worldwide head of YouTube health, stated in the article, “Our mission is to make sure that when (cancer patients and their loved ones) turn to YouTube, they can easily find high-quality content from reliable health sources.”

The YouTube logo can be seen in this screenshot.
Which videos are prohibited from being posted on YouTube?
Numerous existing medical misinformation rules on YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet, the parent company of Google, will be streamlined into three categories: prevention, treatment, and denial. According to the blog post, the regulations will be applied to anything that deviates from the World Health Organization or local health authorities.

YouTube will now remove any videos that advocate hazardous or dubious cancer therapies over proven ones, such as those that suggest viewers take vitamin C instead of radiation therapy or assert that garlic has cancer-curing properties.

A series of videos about cancer diseases and the most recent cutting-edge treatments are being produced by YouTube in conjunction with the Mayo Clinic.

Since cancer is one of the major causes of death worldwide, Graham said, “the public health risk is high.” Local and international health authorities have a steady consensus regarding safe cancer therapies, although this is a subject that is prone to erroneous information.

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Disinformation: What is it? Misinformation?What to know about the dissemination of “fake news.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cancer accounted for more than 602,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2020, making it the second most common killer. According to the National Cancer Institute, which is a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, almost 2 million people are anticipated to receive a cancer diagnosis in the United States this year alone.

A 2020 study that looked at the top 150 YouTube videos on bladder cancer discovered that 67% of them had “moderate to poor” overall information quality. Dr. Stacy Loeb, professor of urology and population health at NYU Langone Health, and her team’s research revealed that YouTube “is a widely used source of information and advice about bladder cancer, but much of the content is of poor quality.”

Similar research conducted in 2018 under Loeb’s direction discovered that many popular YouTube videos regarding prostate cancer featured “biased or poor-quality information.”


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