It seems like the safety warnings from YouTube and YouTube Kids are a deterrent enough when it comes to exposing kids to potentially damaging content. However, online hoaxes sometimes find ways to get around the laws and content filters.
In 2018, several videos of influenza had hundreds of thousands of views, posting statistics related to the disease like "It’s very cold in America," and "How to prevent Bird Flu."
YouTube might be trying to be on top of anything real-life that could make people in the real world sick, but it’s easy to come up with doctored viral videos to fool people.
YouTube recently came out with a new policy to crack down on videos that mislead people, and it seems to be working. In 2018, there were 74 million videos that contained as many as ten videos, whereas in 2017, YouTube only removed 1.7 million videos with as many as ten videos. There were also a total of 5,333 videos with as many as 500 videos.
Of those videos uploaded in 2018, fewer than eight percent contained such content, which is definitely a win for YouTube. YouTube claims that only 3 percent of the videos which were removed had a 30-day follower count.
YouTube cannot be 100 percent safe from harmful content, as numerous controversies have come up in the past. But the company is making a number of efforts to block the threats and eliminate misinformation and hoaxes from online platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. YouTube is a popular video portal among adults and children alike, so it is certainly a place where misinformation can strike at will.
YouTube's latest changes suggest that its strategy of preventing these kind of videos from becoming viral is working. It is important to point out, however, that fact-checking videos that is conducted independently by media organizations are key for helping people to make a decision about whether or not a video is actually fake.
If you are unsure of whether or not a video is real, watch it closely to make sure it is not spreading misinformation. Users should also be careful not to click on any link that sounds slightly suspicious. The amount of time you spend playing that video can determine how well it sinks in. If the video is part of a viral video trend, as viral videos usually are, then less hours played can contribute to making it as false as possible.
Still, YouTube is always one step ahead when it comes to watching over its videos to make sure they are safe for both children and adults. Most of the time, when there is legitimate content or if it is a paid advertisement, users should always trust their instincts. In the meantime, YouTube can keep cracking down on viral videos that are not 100 percent safe for children and families.
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