The White House added YouTube to its list of social media platforms that are allegedly accountable for spreading misinformation and not doing enough to prevent it. The criticism against Youtube came a week after Biden called out Facebook as “killers,” due to their failure to stop the spread of so-called misinformation about the COVID vaccine.
Social media companies have recently been called out by The White House for not cracking down on COVID and vaccine misinformation. https://t.co/K5MZ4PHtsG
— KENS 5 (@KENS5) July 21, 2021
Senior Biden official: social media platforms have “inconsistent enforcement” of what they qualify as misinformation
According to a senior Biden official, one of the key problems these platforms are having is its “inconsistent enforcement.” According to him, YouTube, a unit of Google and Facebook, has their own discretion on what qualifies as misinformation on their platforms…and the White House was left unhappy with the results.
The official further stated that some of the main COVID vaccine misinformation that the administration is fighting against includes false claims saying that they carry microchips, they are ineffective, or that they will hurt women’s fertility.
Recently, social media came under fire from Biden and Jen Psaki; both stated that the platforms spread lies about the COVID vaccine, which makes it harder for the administration to save lives and fight the pandemic.
White House sees YouTube, Facebook as ‘Judge, Jury and Executioner’ on vaccine misinformation https://t.co/BZYPCZs2Lp
— News Dekho (@Deepak88358749) July 23, 2021
An administration official also called Facebook and YouTube the “the judge, jury, and executioner” of COVID misinformation. Meanwhile, the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) published a recent report where it showed twelve social media accounts were disseminating almost two-thirds of COVID vaccine misinformation online. Six of these accounts can still be seen on YouTube.
The Biden official also added that they would like to see more efforts from everybody in limiting the spread of inaccurate information, particularly from these types of accounts.
YouTube answered back, saying they already removed over 900,000 videos that contain misinformation
The fight against COVID vaccine misinformation became the top priority of the Biden administration; that’s particularly at the time when the rate of vaccinations slowed down amidst the present risk brought by the Delta variant.
On the other hand, CCDH founder and chief executive Imran Ahmed claimed that Facebook is an “800-pound gorilla” when it comes to COVID vaccine misinformation. However, Google has more to answer for; yet the company manages to “get away with it” because people would forget that Google owns YouTube.
Elena Hernandez, the YouTube spokeswoman, answered back against these allegations. She stated that since March 2020, the platform has already removed over 900,000 videos that contain COVID misinformation. She added that the company also terminated YouTube channels of the people identified in the list of CCDH.
Hernandez, however, clarified that the policy of the company is to remove videos based on their contents rather than who it is from. The YouTube spokeswoman further emphasized that if there are any remaining channels that violate the platform’s policies, they will take action; this could include permanent termination.