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Youtube challenged by fact-checking organizations

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Over 80 fact-checking organizations around the world are tackling disinformation on Youtube. They published on Wednesday an open letter to her boss, Susan Wojcicki, calling on her to act against the false information that abound on the media of streaming videos.

Samba Badji, editor-in-chief of Africa Check Senegal, is one of the authors of this open letter to Youtube.

« There are a ton of YouTube channels out there today that really specialize in spreading disinformation., he explains joined by Ariane Gaffuri of the Economy department.

And this period of pandemic is perfect proof of this, where we see a lot of videos, some conspirators, others who only disseminate false information on the pandemic … Even before the pandemic, there were a lot of videos on YouTube which offered miracle cures that could cure all kinds of diseases… So YouTube is now a receptacle of false information, alongside other useful content.

What we are proposing, through this open letter, is first of all to show that we, as a fact-checking organization, are not calling for censorship. What we are proposing is that there be a policy that allows for additional, explanatory content that allows users to know that such information contained in such video is false information. This is a more efficient approach than removing content, because that does not solve the problem. ».

The media and NGOs which questioned Youtube are based in around forty countries such as the United States (PolitiFact, The Washington Post), Spain (Maldita.es), Senegal or Kenya (Africa Check). In France, two organizations are signatories: Les Surligneurs and Science Feedback.

The American giant responded by indicating that it had deleted 130,000 videos on Covid-19 in particular. “Much progress has been made,” YouTube spokesperson Elena Hernandez replied in an email.

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