The World Health Organisation (“WHO”) is now taking control of the content that is promoted on YouTube through a partnership with Google.  The aim of the partnership is to “address the spread of misinformation and disinformation.”

“WHO and partners recognise that misinformation online has the potential to travel further, faster and sometimes deeper than the truth – on some social media platforms, falsehoods are 70% more likely to get shared than accurate news. To counter this, WHO has taken a number of actions with tech companies to remain one step ahead,” WHO states on its website.

As has been proved throughout the Covid era, the propaganda machine of governments, public health bodies and international organisations such as WHO are inverting the truth.  It is they that are spreading misinformation and disinformation while at the same time censoring the truth.  Thus, it is not misinformation and falsehoods that WHO is attempting to counteract. Rather, WHO and its partners are attempting to suppress the truth while promoting a false narrative. A more truthful statement would read:

“WHO and partners recognise that facts and truthfulness online have the potential to travel further, faster and sometimes deeper than the official narrative – on some social media platforms, truth is 70% more likely to get shared than our narrative. To counter this, WHO has taken a number of actions with tech companies to remain one step ahead.”

Bear this inversion of the truth in mind when reading any of WHO or its partners’ documents or articles.

Users will have to commit to WHO-approved practices to be labelled as “reliable” in algorithm

In an attempt to limit “health misinformation,” YouTube announced it will certify medical professionals as “reliable” and “authoritative” sources of information.

Last week in a blog post on the platform’s website, its global head of YouTube Health Dr. Garth Graham said: “YouTube Health has been working on additional ways to help doctors, nurses, mental health professionals and healthcare information providers to bring high-quality health information into the spaces that people visit throughout their day – like their favourite video-sharing app.”

To apply to be labelled as “reliable,” users have to submit their license and adhere to the “best practices” for sharing health information set by the World Health Organisation (“WHO”), the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (“CMSS”), and the National Academy of Medicine (“NAM”).

YouTube gives “authoritative” sources a boost in the algorithm and non-authoritative sources are suppressed.

“In the coming months, eligible channels that have applied through this process will be given a health source information panel that identifies them as a licensed healthcare professional and their videos will appear in relevant search results in health content shelves,” the blog post says.

YouTube has been censoring medical information that contradicts the narrative of local health authorities and the WHO – even when the information provided by the WHO turned out to be false.

Republished from Reclaim the Net

“Best Practices”

In July 2021, NAM published a discussion paper to inform and provide recommendations for identifying credible sources of health information on social media, with a specific focus on the United States (Phase 1). The WHO and NAM convened a meeting of interdisciplinary experts from around the world to review and validate these principles for global application (Phase 2).  The meeting was hosted by the WHO Digital Channels Team, in close collaboration with NAM, and facilitated by the British Medical Journal (“BMJ”) on 15 December 2021:

To help address the spread of misinformation and disinformation, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is working to make credible health information more accessible. The WHO is working with the technology industry to stop the spread of misinformation and disinformation and has produced resources to help people identify non-credible sources of information.

Meeting Report: WHO online consultation meeting to discuss global principles for identifying credible sources of health information on social media, 15 December 2021

Citing recent reports the CMSS-NAM-WHO Collaboration stated in its Phase 2 Summary that 59% of the global population uses some form of social media with 90% of Americans using social media to search for health information.  Other reports, the Collaboration states, “suggest a growing amount and influence of health mis- and dis-information online.”

In response, Google/YouTube supported efforts, conducted in two phases, to develop principles and attributes to guide social media and other digital platforms in identifying and elevating credible sources of health information. The first phase was completed in 2021 by an advisory panel convened by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and yielded the foundational principles and attributes for determining credibility of health information sources. The scope of Phase 1 was limited to United States-based entities and concentrated on non-profit and government entities with established vetting or accrediting procedures … The World Health Organisation (WHO) convened an expert panel to vet this initial guidance for a global perspective.

Phase 2 was carried out by a multidisciplinary advisory committee convened by the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS), in collaboration with NAM and WHO. The committee was charged with adapting the principles and attributes established in Phase 1 as a foundation to evaluate other health information sources, including other nonprofit entities, for-profit entities, and individuals, with an eye towards global applicability.

Summary: Identifying Credible Sources of Health Information in Social Media, Phase 2, Considerations for Non-accredited Nonprofit Organizations, For-profit Entities, and Individual Sources, CMSS-NAM-WHO Collaboration, October 2022

The CMSS-NAM-WHO appointed committee said that establishing a set of principles and attributes by which sources can be deemed credible is a vital first step.  “Beyond the present goal of identifying credible sources, the committee emphasised the need to further explore pragmatic and effective means of managing the larger issue of health-related mis- and disinformation content,” the Phase 2 Summary states.

Recognising the implementation challenges that are likely to occur, the committee agreed that it is essential to iteratively test how the algorithms perform in accurately flagging credible sources of valid health information, and, ultimately, how consumers make use of the results.

The committee emphasised that testing of the assessment process will be critical both prior to wide-scale implementation of assessing sources (through use cases and pilot tests), and over time (following potential credible sources, longitudinally), to determine whether the processes are functioning as intended and whether there is evidence of inadvertent harm. This testing should include global platforms.

Summary: Identifying Credible Sources of Health Information in Social Media, Phase 2, Considerations for Non-accredited Nonprofit Organizations, For-profit Entities, and Individual Sources, CMSS-NAM-WHO Collaboration, October 2022

Requirements for Eligible Channels

Applicants must show proof of their license, follow “best practices” and have a channel in “good standing” on YouTube, except in the UK.  Google’s rules for the UK are simple: initially, only NHS organisations will be eligible.

On YouTube, “information panels” provide context on the source underneath the video or in search results showing information such as symptoms, prevention, and treatment options.

Information panel underneath a video

A “health content shelf” is “health sources” that are prioritised and show first on a list of YouTube search results.  Depending how many eligible channels are listed for that particular search term, we may have to scroll fairly far down the results list to find content that is not being promoted by WHO and/or, in the case of the UK, the NHS.

Health content shelf on search result: “From health sources”

Below are excerpts from the Google-WHO partnership regarding eligible YouTube channels:

Information panels providing health source context

As we expand outside of the United States, we’re referencing the work done by the World Health Organization (WHO), to inform global use of these principles. The WHO is a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. We may also reference work done by other agencies, such as in the UK …

In the UK, we worked with the National Health Service to develop an approach to informing which channels would be eligible for an information panel. The National Health Service is the umbrella term for the publicly funded healthcare systems of the UK. This approach included the NHS 1) reviewing the principles developed by the expert panel convened by NAM for the UK context and 2) publishing a Standard for Creating Health Content, which outlines essential requirements and best practice guidance for organisations to follow, in order to create high quality health content … As a starting point in the UK, only NHS organisations are being invited to self-certify against the NHS Standard for Creating Health Content.

Health content shelf

In the UK, the main government entity for health is the NHS and as such all NHS organisations will be initially eligible. NHS organisation channels must also self-certify against the NHS Standard for Creating Health Content to be eligible for the shelf.

Get info on health-related content, Google

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