YouTube profits from videos promoting unproven Covid-19 treatments

By Kari Paul, The Guardian, April 3 2020

YouTube is profiting from videos promoting unproven coronavirus treatments, a new report has found, as the company struggles to crack down on misinformation.

The Google-owned tech company is running advertisements with videos pushing herbs, meditative music, and potentially unsafe over-the-counter supplements as cures for Covid-19, according to a report published on Friday by the Tech Transparency Project, a not-for-profit watchdog organization.

The report found at least seven videos hawking such dubious treatments with advertisements from sponsors including Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, Facebook, Liberty Mutual Insurance, the streaming startup Quibi, and

After being contacted by the Guardian, YouTube removed four of the videos in question for violating its policies against Covid-19 misinformation. Three of the videos remain as they are not promoting misinformation directly but offering wellness tips, according to a spokesman.

“We’re committed to providing timely and helpful information at this critical time, including raising authoritative content, reducing the spread of harmful misinformation and showing information panels, using WHO data, to help combat misinformation,” the spokesman said.”

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