YouTube Begins Medical Channels Verification in Disinformation Battle

YouTube UK healthcare workers verification

YouTube has launched a verification scheme that seeks to verify medical workers. The verification system for medical workers was launched in June and it has stringent steps. Doctors, nurses, and psychologists are eligible to apply for the verification. A successful applicant will have a YouTube badge displayed under the Channel name. The badge will indicate that the channel is run by a legitimate, licensed healthcare practitioner.

YouTube is used by millions across the world to access content. A survey done by the University of Florida and Futuri Media found that YouTube was the number one destination for podcast consumption. Indeed, a significant percentage of users on YouTube visit the platform to seek medical content.

Whether we like it or not, whether we want it or not, whether the health industry is pushing for it or not, people are accessing health information online,”: said Vishaal Virani, who leads health content for YouTube.

Mr Virani added that the healthcare professionals were validated through a “multi-step process” based on collaboration with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) and the NHS, along with other stakeholders such as the Royal College of Nursing.

Crucially, YouTube medical content creators must have an active medical licence. Additionally, they cannot have posted any videos in the past containing disinformation.

Verification does Not Replace a Visit to a Doctor

For sure, the verification system will help people to make better decisions due to the trustworthiness of the health videos. However,  the validation tag is not intended to substitute visiting a medical professional. Ideally, the credible medical information gained on YouTube should empower the audience to go and see their doctor.

Currently, YouTube has rolled out this verification scheme only in the UK. It is aimed to fight against false information in videos, particularly around health. Moreover, it comes two years after the firm announced a total ban on disinformation about vaccinations.

Content creators who violate the terms risk losing their validation status. In some circumstances, they may lose their YouTube account altogether.

It remains to be seen whether Meta and TikTok plan to bring similar verification to their platforms. Additionally, it is not known when YouTube will verify medical practitioners in other regions.

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