Every fourth YouTube video about COVID-19 may contain false and misleading information, according to a study published in BMJ Global Health magazine.
This misinformation includes not only unverified claims about the disease itself – such as how it spreads and what people can do to avoid becoming infected – but also conspiracy theories and racist statements. “This is particularly worrisome when you consider the number of views of these videos,” the study writes.
“Obviously, while the power of social media lies in the sheer volume and variety of information generated and disseminated, it has considerable potential to cause harm,” they add.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 80 percent of Internet users in the U.S. reported that they were looking for health-related information online. YouTube is the primary source of all types of content, including medical content. Worldwide, more than 2 billion people use YouTube every month.19 misleadingly