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Verification Process for Health Care Workers in the UK Begins on YouTube

YouTube has introduced a verification system for medical workers in the UK, responding to the increasing number of people accessing health information online in the country.

UK doctors, nurses, psychologists, health practitioners, and organizations can now receive a mark of authenticity from YouTube by successfully completing a rigorous verification process.

According to YouTube’s partners, this is intended to distinguish content from unreliable sources, but critics are concerned that it will further promote pharmaceutical industry-approved information on the platform.

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Health creators seeking verification must go through a multi-step process that is carried out in collaboration with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the NHS.

Their previous videos will be reviewed, and if any previous content has been flagged for “medical misinformation,” they will not receive verification.

YouTube started accepting applications for verification in June.

The Epoch Times has not been able to confirm how verification affects a channel’s monetization.

Accessing Health Information Online

In addition to the verification system, YouTube has implemented a “medical misinformation policy” that censors medical and health-related content that contradicts claims made by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Dr. Vishaal Virani, the head of UK Health at YouTube, explained to The BBC that the introduction of verification is a response to the growing number of Britons accessing healthcare information on the platform.

According to Dr. Virani, “People are accessing health information online, whether we like it or not. We need to ensure that the content they consume is as reliable as possible when they start their care journey online.”

Professor Dame Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chairwoman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, commented, “Differentiating between trustworthy healthcare information and inaccurate or unreliable content can be challenging.”

“We have collaborated with various organizations across the UK healthcare landscape to create a set of principles that are easy to apply and will ultimately benefit anyone seeking reliable health information on YouTube,” she added.

Only Allow Verified Health Workers to Post

Professor Norman Fenton, a world-leading risk expert and mathematician at Queen Mary London University, runs a YouTube channel with over 20,000 subscribers.

In recent years, Mr. Fenton has used Bayesian probability, a statistical procedure that applies probabilities to data analysis, to study COVID-19 vaccine data.

For example, in December, Mr. Fenton and Professor Martin Neil, a computer science and statistics professor at Queen Mary University of London, published a paper on ResearchGate that highlighted the “miscategorisation status of those who died shortly after vaccination.”

Regarding the verification system, Mr. Fenton expressed concern that only verified health workers will be allowed to post on YouTube, potentially leading to the classification of unverified creators’ content as “misinformation.”

Mr. Fenton also mentioned that many of his videos on YouTube are immediately taken down.

People Self Censor

An investigation published by the British Medical Association revealed that royal colleges in the UK have received over £9 million in marketing payments from pharmaceutical and medical devices companies since 2015, raising concerns about conflicts of interest.

Mr. Fenton worries that all health information on YouTube may ultimately be approved solely by pharmaceutical companies.

He noted that alternative video-sharing platforms like Rumble and Bitchute have not yet reached the same level of audience as YouTube.

In 2021, UK users accounted for over two billion video views on health-related topics.

“YouTube is the main platform for this type of content, so it is difficult to avoid this problem. Ultimately, people end up self-censoring. It’s a problem,” he concluded.

The Epoch Times has reached out to the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and YouTube for comment.

PA Media contributed to this report.

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