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April 22, 2020updated 24 Apr 2020 9:56am

YouTube CEO: We’ll ban any coronavirus content against WHO guidelines

By Lucy Ingham

YouTube will ban any content containing medical advice that contradicts World Health Organisation (WHO) coronavirus recommendations, according to CEO Susan Wojcicki.

Speaking on CNN’s Reliable Sources, Wojcicki said that the Google-owned video streaming platform would be “removing information that is problematic”.

She told host Brian Stelter that this would include “anything that is medically unsubstantiated”.

“So people saying ‘take vitamin C; take turmeric, we’ll cure you’, those are the examples of things that would be a violation of our policy,” she said.

“Anything that would go against World Health Organisation recommendations would be a violation of our policy.”

While the decision has been welcomed by many, some have accused the streaming giant of censorship.

YouTube coronavirus ban follows crackdown on 5G conspiracies

The comments from Wojcicki on how YouTube is handling content related to the coronavirus follow a ban on the platform earlier this month on videos linking Covid-19 to 5G networks.

Theories wrongly linking coronavirus to 5G have been on the rise in the past few months, but received considerable attention when conspiracy theorist David Icke promoted the theory in a livestreamed interview.

YouTube announced that it would be deleting the video and that it would be enacting a blanket ban on the conspiracy theory following the interview.

The streaming giant has also been forced to change its position on placing adverts next to content relating to the coronavirus.

In March, YouTube announced that it would demonetise coronavirus videos, effectively putting a ban on adverts before such videos as part of an ongoing policy related to advertising on ‘sensitive events’ content.

However, it made a U-turn on the decision on 12 March over concerns that the decision was causing considerable harm to content creators.

“It’s becoming clear this issue is now an ongoing and important part of everyday conversation, and we want to make sure news organisations and creators can continue producing quality videos in a sustainable way,” said Wojcicki when the decision was announced.

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