Is YouTube Censoring Videos That Encourage People to Take Natural Supplements?
Not unless the videos claim that such supplements can cure COVID-19.
A viral Instagram post claims that “YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki made a public statement advising that those who tell people to use natural supplements like Vitamin C or Turmeric are now considered to be violating YouTube's policies, and their videos will be removed.” The post claims this is evidence of YouTube's “war on natural health” because “the system doesn't want people taking natural supplements to boost their health and immunity.”
The image leaves out important context: Wojcicki’s comments were not about videos promoting the use of vitamin C or turmeric in general, but specifically about videos telling people that such supplements could be used to cure them of COVID-19. During an interview with CNN in April, Wojcicki discussed how YouTube was dealing with misinformation related to coronavirus and explained that YouTube would remove “anything that is medically unsubstantiated, so people saying like ‘take vitamin c,’ you know, ‘take turmeric,’ like ‘those will cure you.’” She also stated “anything that would go against World Health Organization recommendations would be a violation of our policy.” This policy was met with some criticism for its deference to WHO, which was slow to react to coronavirus and made statements about the virus which it later had to reverse.
Given that Wojcicki’s comments about vitamin C and turmeric came during a segment about how YouTube was approaching coronavirus misinformation, it’s clear that she meant videos promoting such supplements as a cure or treatment for coronavirus would be taken down, not that YouTube would disallow videos encouraging regular use of the supplements.
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