Madrid, Nov 12 (EFE).- YouTube is “one of the main channels of misinformation and false information online” in the world, according to more than 80 data verification organizations that have asked the company to adopt at least four measures to reverse this situation.
In a letter to YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki, verification organizations from 40 countries refer to videos posted on YouTube that “have caused real harm in everyday life” and yet have passed under the radar of current company policies.
These cases are proof that the policies implemented by YouTube to combat disinformation are “insufficient” and “do not work,” the verification groups said.
The situation is “even worse” in non-English speaking countries and in the so-called Global South, where company policies “are exercised even less,” the letter said.
They urged Wojcicki to implement at least four measures, including a commitment to transparency on how disinformation travels on the platform and publicly disclose its policies to address it, including the use of artificial intelligence.
Rather than deleting videos, fact-checkers are asking YouTube to focus on providing the proper context, which they believe can be done by “establishing meaningful and structured collaboration” with fact-checking organizations.
Signatories said they reject what they consider YouTube’s attempts to frame the entire debate as “a false choice” between deleting videos or not and say that “the available evidence” shows providing verified information is more effective than removing content.
In this way, “freedom of expression is preserved while mitigating the risks of harm to life, health, security and democratic processes.”
Another request is that the platform act against repeat offenders who constantly produce content marked as disinformation and “prevent their videos from being recommended or promoted by the company’s algorithms.”
They urged that these efforts be expanded to languages other than English and that country- and language-specific data be provided, as well as effective transcription services.
The verifiers said in their letter they want to engage with YouTube to put these demands into practice and that the platform really does everything possible to prevent misinformation and false information from becoming “weapons against its users and society in general.” EFE