YouTube has published fresh stats revealing the extent of its censorship and editorialization amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter about the video-sharing platform’s priorities for 2021, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote that more than 500,000 videos have been purged from the platform under its COVID-19 policies since February 2020.
YouTube has introduced numerous policies that restrict what creators are allowed to say about the coronavirus since February. Under these policies, creators are banned from going against the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) consensus on vaccines and other coronavirus topics and banned from posting anything that “might” encourage people to ignore stay at home advice.
In addition to censoring more than half a million coronavirus-related videos, YouTube also revealed that it had heavily promoted “trusted information” via its information panels which have had over 400 billion impressions since February.
YouTube’s COVID-19 policies have impacted a wide range of creators with independent news outlets, doctors, White House advisors, and former members of Congress among those who have been censored.
Not only has YouTube censored millions of coronavirus videos since February but it has also heavily stacked the search results in favor of mainstream media outlets which are now 20x more likely to top search results than independent creators.