YouTube bans Covid quackery

📷: NIH.gov. 3D print of a spike protein of SARS-CoV-2—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—in front of a 3D print of a SARS-CoV-2 virus particle. The spike protein (foreground) enables the virus to enter and infect human cells. On the virus model, the virus surface (blue) is covered with spike proteins (red) that enable the virus to enter and infect human cells.

YouTube says it will remove "unsubstantiated medical content", taking aim at quacks, conspiracy theorists and grifters using the platform to exploit the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chief executive Susan Wojcicki said the media giant wanted to stamp out "misinformation on the platform". Mrs Wojcicki made the remarks on Wednesday during her first interview since the global coronavirus lockdown began.

"So people saying, ‘Take vitamin C, take turmeric, we’ll cure you,’ those are the examples of things that would be a violation of our policy,” she told CNN.

“Anything that would go against World Health Organization recommendations would be a violation of our policy.”

YouTube has never cared about "misinformation on the platform" before and Wojcicki herself made a big show of readmitting previously-banned hate speech for vague free-speech reasons that nonetheless correspond to commercial incentives. This move suggests that the brightest legal minds conclude that platforming Covid-19 misinformation will come with a high price tag.