YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has revealed in her mid-year update to the YouTube community that over 200,000 videos have been removed from the platform for violating its strict coronavirus misinformation rules.
YouTube’s coronavirus misinformation policies have proved controversial and been used to censor many popular videos about the virus including videos from independent creators that are covering the same stories as mainstream media outlets.
Under these rules, anything that goes against the World Health Organization (WHO) and content that “might” encourage people to ignore stay at home advice is banned.
Despite enforcing these rules aggressively against many creators, Wojcicki recently admitted that there’s a double standard when YouTube moderates “unsubstantiated” coronavirus health information and that media coverage influences when censored coronavirus videos get reinstated.
Today’s announcement has added to the confusion that surrounds these coronavirus rules because in the same post revealing that more than 200,000 videos have been removed under these rules that prohibit anything that goes against the WHO, YouTube stated that it will be promoting protest coverage via its Spotlight channel.
One of the WHO’s top recommendations for protecting against the coronavirus is:
“Avoid going to crowded places. Why? Where people come together in crowds, you are more likely to come into close contact with someone that has COIVD-19 and it is more difficult to maintain physical distance of 1 metre (3 feet).”
Yet despite most of the people attending protests directly violating this WHO recommendation and by extension violating YouTube’s new coronavirus rules banning content that “might encourage people to flout stay at home orders”, YouTube is now openly admitting that it will be actively promoting protest coverage. As if the rules aren’t confusing enough, YouTube’s stances are now contradictory.