How is YouTube connecting users with authoritative content while limiting misinformation?
Over the past few years, we've accelerated our efforts to protect the YouTube community from harmful content. This is also how we are approaching COVID-19-related content on YouTube. We raise authoritative voices, remove misinformation and reduce the spread of borderline content so that our community can connect with timely and helpful information at this critical time.
As the COVID-19 situation has evolved, we've partnered closely with global and local health authorities to ensure that our policy definition and enforcement is effective in removing content where there's a serious risk of egregious harm. Our policies prohibit, for example, content that denies the existence of the coronavirus or encourages the use of home remedies in place of medical treatment. We also prohibit content that explicitly disputes the efficacy of global or local health authority advice regarding social distancing that may lead people to act against that guidance.
In October 2020, we expanded our COVID-19 medical misinformation policy to remove content about vaccines that contradicts consensus from health authorities, such as the US Centers for Disease Control or the World Health Organization.
Reducing the spread of borderline content
Content that comes close to — but doesn’t quite cross the line of — violating our Community Guidelines is a fraction of 1% of what’s watched on YouTube in the U.S. In 2019, we began reducing recommendations of borderline content or videos that could misinform users in harmful ways. This work has been foundational in ensuring that we limit the spread of COVID-19-related borderline content on our site.
How has YouTube helped people adapt to a changing world?
In a short time, COVID-19 has changed how people live their lives. From parents, to teachers, to remote workers, we're creating resources to help users adapt to extraordinary circumstances as they practise social distancing.
As schools closed their buildings and families found themselves at home, we launched Learn@Home and enhanced the YouTube Learning Hub to help parents and guardians complement family learning with supplemental learning content and activities. From Khan Academy to Edelvives to Kok Bisa?, these resources spotlight content across maths, science, history and arts from popular learning channels. Content on the site is now available in English, Italian, French, Korean, Spanish, German and Japanese.
Staying connected at home
We've found ways to help our users stay active, inspired and entertained while following public health guidance. In March 2020, we launched the Stay Home #WithMe initiative that encouraged users to follow social distancing guidance. The initiative ran over the course of March–April 2020, and was live in 63 markets and collaborated with over 700 creators and artists.
Since the start of the world's isolation, people have turned to YouTube to connect over live streams. To support this, we created and shared a Live Stream Playbook and Digital Events Playbook with partners globally to enable more creators and organisations to maintain a connection virtually as we practise social distancing.