A recent investigation by the Avvaz activist group revealed that Youtube is promoting misinformation on climate and environmental issues on its platform. This revelation has caused a backlash as the Youtube platform is funded by the largest Companies people and environmental groups, through ads and videos.
In more detail, the Avaaz activist group recently conducted a major survey to examine how Youtube protects its users from misinformation on environmental issues. Specifically, it examined video which suggests Youtube on its platform when users search information on the greenhouse effect and the manipulation of climate and the environment. The research focused particularly on the videos displayed through it operation Up Next of Youtube as well as the next video played after the clip is completed.
Avaaz activist campaign leader Fadi Quran says 1 in 5 people looking for Youtube information on issues such as global warming and climate change are likely to fall victims misinformation. This is due to the fact that Youtube greatly promotes and encourages misinformation by paying creators content every time an ad enters a video.
Companies and environmental groups advertised videos, but were unaware that their ads were running alongside misinformation about climate and the environment.
Studies show that the activist group relied on a tool programmer YouTube trying to play it algorithm platform for video suggestions. According to the researchers, the study acknowledged that the study does not provide a copy of the YouTube suggestion algorithm. However, they argued that their data is very likely to represent similar suggestions that YouTube presents to users.
Following the findings of this investigation, the Avaaz activist group called on YouTube to introduce new ones. policies to prevent further dissemination of climate and environmental misinformation. This includes proposing that YouTube include climate-related misinformation in its "marginal content" policy and isolate any misinformation content. Avaaz also suggests that YouTube work with independent "controllers" to inform users who have watched videos that contain misinformation.
It is worth noting that the Avaaz activist group discovered, among other things, that companies such as Samsung, L'Oreal and Uber, have ads running on misinformation videos. At the same time, prominent environmental groups such as Greenpeace International and the World Wildlife Fund are promoting such videos, thereby contributing to the dissemination of misinformation.
Youtube, for its part, said that systems that includes not designed to filter or downgrade videos or videos channels containing specific opinions. On the contrary, YouTube claims that it has strict ad policies and has invested heavily in reducing misinformation and increasing authenticity.
In addition, some companies mentioned were quick to respond. In particular, a L'Oréal spokesman told The Millennial Source that the information provided by these videos runs counter to L'Oréal's commitments and the work done by its executives to protect the environment. He added that the company is working with YouTube teams asking them to use all the technological means at their disposal to better inform the users of the platform about the nature and content of these videos. At the same time, Hyundai Motor America stated that it is constantly working with YouTube to ensure that the ads contain content that follows standard protocols and filters, including avoiding content that promotes inaccurate information.
However, this is not the first time Youtube has come to the fore for such incidents. Indicatively, in early 2019 branded brands such as Walt Disney Co. and Nestle removed their ads from Youtube after allegations that the comments section of the site promoted the action of a pedagogical circuit.
This contrasts with critics who argue that YouTube has promoted anti-vaccination content.
Youtube however is trying to combat misinformation. Specifically, in 2019, Google, the owner of Youtube, released a document detailing the steps it took to combat misinformation on its platforms, such as YouTube, Google News and Google Search. Among other methods, the company said it would address the issue by using human curators to decide if something was a high quality result for a particular search. Google has also revealed that it is trying to get rid of trolls and hackers.
Finally, Youtube executives announced that on USA the platform will begin to reduce proposals with so-called "marginal" content, that is, videos that approach violations of the site's rules in areas such as hate speech. Despite the announcement of the changes, a Bloomberg report in April 2019 said that YouTube was aware of the misinformation on its site, but did not prevent it. This has led senior executives to resign due to the company's lack of action on the problem.