YouTube launches quack filter to verify doctors

Doctors on YouTube can now apply for verification showing they are registered health professionals under moves to tackle medical misinformation.

Those who approved will receive a verified provider label displayed on their channel announcing the content is “from a licensed doctor”.

Designated YouTube Health Sources will also have their videos highlighted on a special healthcare carousel in search results.

Up until now, these features have only been available to organisations such as universities, government health agencies, hospitals and medical journals.

The move was announced last week by US cardiologist Dr Garth Graham, the global head of healthcare and public health at YouTube’s parent company Google, with providers in the USA and Germany able to apply for verified status immediately.

It’s unclear when the process will open up to doctors in other countries like the UK and Australia, but tech site Gizmodo reported the company was hoping to expand into more regions in the future.

“The reality is that the majority of healthcare decisions are made outside the doctor’s office, in the everyday lives of our patients,” Dr Graham said (link here).

“That’s why 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.”

“This is a big step towards helping people more easily find and connect with content that comes from the extraordinary community of healthcare creators on YouTube–the smart, dedicated and creative folks who are transforming the ways that we share medical information.”

It comes amid a dramatic shake-up at the social media site Twitter, with new owner Elon Musk promising to open verification up to anyone willing to pay a fee of $8 USD per month.

Besides being registered to practice, applicants for YouTube’s new scheme must meet certain requirements around video views and meeting the platform’s community guidelines. The channel’s primary focus also needs to be on health content.

YouTube states that it will review applicants’ channels and get back to them with an answer within two months. Those who are accepted may start getting access to the features in early 2023.

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