YouTube goes to war with materials touting harmful “cures for cancer”. These types of videos will be removed from now on, and the company has also changed its policy on medical materials more widely.
YouTube has announced major changes to its policy. From now on, one of the most popular video platforms on the Internet will apply stricter restrictions on medical materials. Special attention was paid to harmful cancer therapies.
YouTube Removes Harmful “Cancer Cures”
In a recent entry on the official blog, YouTube emphasizes that false medical information on the Internet can be particularly dangerous and reminds about the waves of disinformation related to, among others, with the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines or fertility. Constantly changing fake news is supposed to require a new approach from the company to fight untruth.
One of the key innovations is the approach to cancer treatment materials. From now on, the company intends to remove videos that promote cancer therapies – methods that are ineffective or harmful to patients, which has previously been scientifically proven. Videos advocating the use of alternative methods and dissuading patients from doctor visits and conventional cancer treatments will also be banned.
Examples of harmful misinformation include claims such as “garlic is a cancer cure” or “take vitamin C instead of chemotherapy.”
YouTube is changing the rules for medicine
The change described above is only part of a larger company initiative. A Google subsidiary has carried out an extensive “rule simplification” of medical supplies on the platform. From now on, YouTube’s medical policy is divided into three main pillars – Prevention, Treatment and Negation.
As part of the prevention restrictions, materials “contrary to the guidelines of medical organizations on the prevention or transmission of specific diseases” will be banned. This includes the promotion of the use of harmful substances as preventive methods. In addition, materials that question the safety or effectiveness of proven vaccines will be banned.
Negation refers to “denying the existence of given diseases” or their known complications. An example is the denial that COVID-19 can cause death. Treatment records are generalized guidelines similar to those for cancer. Therefore, it is forbidden to “deny the guidelines of medical organizations regarding the treatment of given diseases, including the promotion of specific therapies or substances that may cause harm.”