YouTube starts mass takedowns of videos promoting ‘harmful or ineffective’ cancer

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The platform will also take action against videos that discourage people from seeking professional medical treatment as it sets out its health policies going forward.

YouTube will remove content that promotes “cancer treatments proven to be harmful or ineffective” or which “discourages viewers from seeking professional medical treatment,” the video platform announced today. The enforcement comes as YouTube is attempting to streamline its medical moderation guidelines based on what it’s learned while attempting to tackle misinformation around topics like covid-19, vaccines, and reproductive health.

Going forward, Google’s video platform says it will apply its medical misinformation policies when there is a high public health risk, when there is publicly available guidance from health authorities, and when a topic is prone to misinformation. YouTube hopes that this policy framework will be flexible enough to cover a broad range of medical topics, while finding a balance between minimizing harm and allowing debate.