As the coronavirus pandemic is worsening worldwide, YouTube is taking a bold step by banning misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines.
"A Covid-19 vaccine may be imminent; therefore, we're ensuring we have the right policies in place to be able to remove misinformation related to a Covid-19 vaccine from the platform," a YouTube spokesperson said, as reported by The Guardian.
YouTube is vowing to remove any content that includes false claims that contract from local health authorities or the World Health Organization (WHO).
Up to this writing, the platform has deleted over 200.000 misleading videos about the vaccines since February. One of them includes fallacies that the vaccines would kill people, plant a microchip inside their heads, or make a hefty amount of profit.
Andy Pattison, the WHO manager of digital solution, consults with the policymakers at YouTube weekly. The team breaks down potential ideas to make the platform safer from hoaxes and weaponized lies.
The announcement came a day after Facebook took similar action, as Business Insider reported. The platform has now banned deceptive & fearmongering ads, although it will still allow some of them if they don't include false claims.
Why Do People Fall Into Viral Conspiracy Theories?
Whenever a fortunate or an unfortunate event happens, fact-less conspiracy theories can be heard from every corner.
For the COVID-19 pandemic, a small segment of society believes that it's not real or not as deadly as the media reports. Others believe that yes, it is real, but the world's second wealthiest man, Bill Gates, is orchestrating it.
So, why do people fall into conspiracy theories?
The short answer is because people want to feel like the savior of the truth, who refuses to bow down for the authority. These theories give them some sense of power in such an unpredictable world. It gives them security.
"Conspiracy theories rely on narratives that refer to secret knowledge (Mason, 2002) or information, which, by definition, is not accessible to everyone; otherwise, it would not be a secret, and it would be a well-known fact," Lantian et al. wrote on their paper.
Coronavirus Hoaxes: What Should We Do About It?
In this digital era, false information is flowing easier than ever. It's up to us to prevent it-common sense to differentiate which platform we can trust and not is necessary.
Also, take them with a grain of salt. Understand that something may be correct or maybe not.
Up to this writing, as World 'O Meter reported, coronavirus has affected over 38,729,173 people. 29,111,275 are lucky to have recovered, while 1,096,320 others dead. Vaccines are yet to come, and in the meantime, it's up to us to take preventive actions. Wear a mask, frequently wash hands, and avoid crowded places are the best thing we can do.