Health misinformation: YouTube begins verifying videos by UK doctors

YouTube has launched a verification system for UK-based doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals to help Britons dodge medical misinformation online.

UK-based users accounted for more than two billion video views of clips on health conditions in 2021.

YouTube added a new seal of approval to accounts run by licensed doctors, nurses, psychologists, and other health practitioners or organisations who have passed stringent verification checks to fight misinformation.

YouTube head of UK health Dr Vishaal Virani said the move to verified health videos for UK users was crucial due to the number of Brits accessing healthcare information through the video-sharing platform.

Virani told the BBC, “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.

“We need to do as good a job as possible to bring rigour to the content that they are subsequently consuming when they start their care journey online.’’

The verification system began accepting applications from UK-based health care professionals to those with an active medical licence in June.

Accounts that applied to the verification scheme are now starting to receive their YouTube mark of authenticity of their videos.

This would help to make it easy as possible for users to know if the information has come from a qualified healthcare professional.

Potential health creators submitting their accounts have to go through a rigorous, multi-stepped verification process that works in partnership with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the National Health Service.

Health creators also have their past videos scrutinised and do not receive verification if previous videos uploaded to YouTube have contained any medical misinformation. (dpa/NAN)