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YouTube starts verifying health workers in the UK

YouTube has launched a verification system for healthcare workers in the UK as it battles disinformation online.  In 2022, health videos were viewed more than three billion times in the UK alone on the video-sharing platform.

Doctors, nurses and psychologists have been applying for the scheme since June and must meet rigorous criteria set by the tech giant to be eligible.

Successful applicants will have a badge under their name identifying them as a genuine, licensed healthcare worker.

But YouTubers have warned the system is only meant for education purposes, not to replace medical advice from your GP.

Vishaal Virani, who leads health content for YouTube, said it was important simply due to the sheer number of people accessing healthcare information on the video-sharing platform.

"Whether we like it or not, whether we want it or not, whether the health industry is pushing for it or not, people are accessing health information online," he told the BBC.

"We need to do as good a job as possible to bring rigour to the content that they are subsequently consuming when they do start their care journey online.

"We want to create an environment where those who are experts, who are authorities, are able to elevate the content that they are creating."

Not meant to replace a GP visit

"I think the reason why it's such a great thing is you just have time to tackle some tricky topics and conversations," said Dr Simi Adedeji, a YouTuber who focuses on skin health and women's health.

"I'm able to talk about some of the embarrassing topics that women are often too embarrassed to talk about, that sometimes they were too embarrassed to even bring up in a consultation with their doctor.

"Being able to create content like this makes it really accessible for the audience, and helps in terms of reducing the health anxiety that people might sometimes have, because they're able to have some information that's digestible in easy, understandable language."

As a practicing doctor in the UK, who has been validated on YouTube as part of the programme, she said the system allowed people to make judgements on the trustworthiness of health videos.

But she warned her content, and the validation tag, were "absolutely not" intended to replace seeing a medical professional.

"There's a difference between giving medical education - which is what we're doing - and giving medical advice - which we don't do," she said.

"It's about giving medical information so that the audience feels empowered and can then go and see their doctor.

"This is very much complementary, it does not replace your consultation with your doctor."

Read the whole article here.

Autor: Tom Gerken   Quelle: bbc.com (22.02.2024 - LW)
 
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