Youtube deletes fake news on vaccines: a good idea?
Youtube blocked the Russian state-backed broadcaster RT's German-language channels on Wednesday on the grounds that they were spreading misinformation. Videos that try to turn opinion against officially approved vaccines will also be consistently deleted, the tech giant announced. Commentators say the Google subsidiary is making things too easy for itself.
A pseudo solution
Deleting content does not fix the problem, writes the Neue Zürcher Zeitung:
“Tech companies are wrestling with a self-created monster which they continue to feed while striving to cut off its head with their other hand. ... Blocking accounts, checking for misinformation and hate content - all this merely scratches the surface. Because what Youtube and co. really need to do is change their entire algorithms. ... People could be confronted with videos that contradict their world view, more information and less agitation. That would probably be good for democracy and the education of the public. But Youtube doesn't want to take that chance. Because the competition never sleeps.”
Dialogue instead of censorship
Democracy suffers from censorship, the Romanian service of German broadcaster Deutsche Welle underlines:
“To be effective, the extremely important, even vital fight against such propaganda and misinformation threats should not be carried out via counter-propaganda and censorship. Instead, it requires transparent and democratic instruments, complicated to apply but capable of giving credibility to liberal democracy ... In real democracies which are based on the search for truth through dialogue, argumentation and the free confrontation of opinions, the fight against the phenomenon of fake news is waged with correct information that exposes misinformation, and not with censorship.”