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Over a Quarter of Most Viewed Covid-19 Videos on YouTube Contain Fake News, Study Finds

Men wear protective masks as they walk past a poster warning against the spread of 'fake news' online on the new coronavirus in Hanoi, Vietnam April 14, 2020. (Reuters/Kham)

Men wear protective masks as they walk past a poster warning against the spread of 'fake news' online on the new coronavirus in Hanoi, Vietnam April 14, 2020. (Reuters/Kham)

As per a study conducted, over quarter of the most viewed English language videos people have watched worldwide for news of coronavirus contain misinformation.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 14, 2020, 2:43 PM IST
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Even as governments and epidemiologists across the world make efforts to fight fake news and misinformation regarding COVID-19, researchers have found that people across the world might still be greatly exposed to fake news.

As per a study conducted, over quarter of the most viewed English language videos people have watched worldwide for news of coronavirus contain misinformation.

Researchers chose 69 most popular COVID-19 videos in English on YouTube and rated them in terms of their accuracy. While videos put out by the government and other official bodies scored high on the accuracy test, they were not as popular. Meanwhile, videos that contained fake or misleading information received as many as 62,042,609 views, Daily Mail reported.

As per the findings, over 70 percent of the videos tested contained accurate and factual information. However, one in four videos contained fake news, totaling to 27.5 percent. These received over a quarter of the total views.

Network news videos on YouTube received the largest portion of views at 29 percent, while newspapers and government videos received just five and two percent views.

The findings are of concern to governments across the world, especially since the viral "Plandemic: The Hidden Agenda Behind COVID-19" that promoted a number of false claims regarding COVID-19 went viral on social media with millions of views across platforms.

Social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and others have strengthened measures to detect and remove fake news to help the world fight coronavirus more effectively. In April, YouTube banned "medically unsubstantiated" videos from its platform to curb misinformation.


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