YouTube is a major conduit of online disinformation and misinformation worldwide and is not doing enough to tackle the spread of falsehoods on its platform, according to a global coalition of factchecking organisations.
A letter signed by more than 80 groups, including Full Fact in the UK and the Washington Post’s Fact Checker, says the video platform is hosting content by groups including Doctors for the Truth, which spread Covid misinformation, and videos supporting the “fraud” narrative during the US presidential election.
“YouTube is allowing its platform to be weaponised by unscrupulous actors to manipulate and exploit others, and to organise and fundraise themselves. Current measures are proving insufficient,” states the letter to YouTube’s chief executive, Susan Wojcicki, which describes YouTube as a “major conduit” for falsehoods.
The letter urges YouTube, which is owned by Google, to make four changes to its operations: a commitment to funding independent research into disinformation campaigns on the platform; providing links to rebuttals inside videos distributing disinformation and misinformation; stopping its algorithms from promoting repeat offenders; and doing more to tackle falsehoods in non-English-language videos.