Coronavirus fake news: 1 in 4 YouTube videos contain fake news

Last updated at 12:40
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Are you getting your information from reliable places?

Where do you go to look for news about the coronavirus? The TV? News websites? Social media?

Well, a new study published in the British Medical Journal has shown that more than a quarter of videos about the coronavirus on YouTube contain misleading or inaccurate information.

Researchers at the University of Ottawa analysed the site's most popular videos since the pandemic began, in order to find out more about how fake news spreads.

They found that as many as 27% of the videos, with a total of 62 million views between them, contained information that wasn't 100% accurate.

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Back in March, the UK government cracked down on social media platforms to make sure they were acting responsibly on the spread of fake news relating to the pandemic.

Twitter can now block posts that they believe contain fake news, while Facebook has the power to close groups which spread fake news to communities.

A YouTube spokeswoman said: "We're committed to providing timely and helpful information at this critical time".

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They say they do their best to promote accurate content made by authorities such as the World Health Organization and the NHS, but many people may choose to watch content that contains their favourite Youtubers or celebrities, instead of the informative, approved videos.

They say videos that contain accurate information are sometimes hard to follow and less appealing to watch, which means people choose alternative and possibly incorrect videos to watch instead.

"We have clear policies that prohibit videos promoting medically unsubstantiated methods to prevent the coronavirus in place of seeking medical treatment, and we quickly remove videos violating these policies when flagged to us," said Youtube.