“Anything that would go against World Health Organization recommendations would be a violation of our policy.” – YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.
The CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki has indicated to CNN that any information published on the platform that contradicts the World Health Organization’s recommendations would be removed.
Claiming there was a substantial increase in demand for “authoritative sources”, Wojcicki said they also “talk about removing information that is problematic.”
“Of course, anything that is medically unsubstantiated. So people saying, like, take vitamin C, you know, take turmeric, like, those are — will cure you. Those are the examples of things that would be a violation of our policy.”
She then went further, saying: “[a]nything that would go against World Health Organization recommendations would be a violation of our policy. And so remove is another really important part of our policy.”
Tennessee senator Marsha Blackburn was among the first political representatives to respond, insisting the WHO were guilty of spreading inaccurate information and “Chinese propaganda”.
It is alarming that @YouTube now relies on the @WHO’s biased recommendations to decide what video content to take down.
The @WHO gave inaccurate information about the spread of the virus, still parrots Chinese propaganda, and fought @realDonaldTrump’s China travel ban. pic.twitter.com/eTG9JG2eRs
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) April 22, 2020
“If Big Tech companies plan to police speech surrounding COVID-19, they need to rely on honest and objective experts. History repeats itself and [WHO] has proven to be untrustworthy promoters of Chinese propaganda,” the senator claimed.
The WHO has been repeatedly criticised by senior American politicians for their handling of the coronavirus outbreak, with President Donald Trump suspending US taxpayer funding of the organization recently.
“American taxpayers provide between $400 million and $500 million per year to the WHO. In contrast, China contributes roughly $40 million,” President Trump said.
“As the organization’s leading sponsor, the United States has a duty to insist on full accountability. One of the most dangerous and costly decisions from the WHO was its disastrous decision to oppose travel restrictions from China and other nations,” he claimed.
“They were very much opposed to what we did. Fortunately, I was not convinced and suspended travel from China…The WHO’s attack on travel restrictions put political correctness above lifesaving measures.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg announced earlier this week that, like YouTube, his platform would also remove posts about the virus that it considered to be “harmful misinformation”, and that there was a limit to “how much freedom we will allow Facebook users” to organise stay-at-home protests.
“But, you know, more than normal political discourse, I think a lot of the stuff that people are saying that is false around a health emergency like this can be classified as harmful misinformation that has a risk of leading to imminent physical danger and we’ll just take that kind of content down,” he said.