YouTube has announced its new health partnerships team in order to enhance the reach of trusted health videos. As reported by 9to5 the company describes this move as a new effort to “surface easy-to-understand medical information from some of the most respected organizations and clinicians”.
With misinformation and its spread becoming one of the main focuses for social media company’s this move aims to promote trusted content as a method to curb that spread. YouTube has taken other actions to downplay the spread of harmful information. These include targeting QAnon content and removing distrusted videos.
However, some would argue that the platform has not gone far enough. The newly formed Alphabet Workers Union has called on the company to ban Donald Trump from the platform following recent events. At the time of writing Google is yet to change its stance on this particular issue.
This new YouTube health partnerships team will likely focus on the short term on topics such as coronavirus conspiracy theories. However, it seems this move is a more wide-reaching and long term than that as well.
YouTube launches health partnerships team to push trusted information
As part of this initiative, YouTube has partnered with the American Public Health Association, Cleveland Clinic, Harvard School of Public Health, Mayo Clinic, Osmosis, Psych Hub, and the National Academy of Medicine.
The team is led by Dr Garth Graham who used to work as Chief Community Health Officer at CVS Health and as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Graham spoke about the challenges the healthcare profession currently faces. He noted, “that people are not watching talk shows or reading newspapers the way they used to”. He then went onto point out that people are going to places like YouTube to get their information.
As a result, this is where this partnership initiative comes in. However, details of exactly what it entails seem to be quite scarce for now.
Graham poses two important challenges for this team that YouTube will have to address. The first is How do people know which information is credible? The second is how do you find sources that make the complicated medical jargon more accessible?
This may mean we are looking at a dedicated YouTube experience. However, an experience where people search for health information could do with a degree of vetting before it is operational.
Given health authorities, like the CDC, have served over 400 billion since march due to the coronavirus pandemic a place for people to access trusted information is clearly wanted. However, how YouTube positions this could become a delicate balance.