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American NGO accuses YouTube of directing users to climate-sensitive videos

The Youtube platform has claimed that it will continue to remove hateful content, but there is no question that it censors content that does not violate its rules.


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Oriented algorithms? YouTube has directed millions of users to videos denying the climate crisis, accused the American NGO Avaaz on Thursday, January 16, calling for an end to the “free promotion of disinformation” on the platform. In total, 16% of the 100 most watched videos related to the term “global warming” contained incorrect information, the 10 most watched videos having been viewed on average more than a million times each, said the NGO , based in New York, in a report (in English).

In response, YouTube claimed to do its utmost to minimize video content as much as possible. “Problematic” and, conversely, highlight authoritative sources. Youtube specifies that eHe will continue to remove hateful content, as defined by his policy, but will not censor content that does not violate his rules.

“Our recommendation systems are not designed to filter or demote videos or channels based on specific views”, argued YouTube. Avaaz explained that it had stripped down the results of research carried out on YouTube using the terms “global warming”, “climate change” and “climate manipulation” to see what additional content the platform offered (“Up Next” button and suggestion bar) .

The proportion of potentially misleading videos climbed to 21% for the term “climate manipulation” but fell to 8% with the title “climate change”, said the NGO, which aggregates petitions on its platform and claims to “allow citizens to influence global political decisions”. “It is not about freedom of expression but free advertising”, said Julie Deruy, campaign manager for Avaaz, in a statement.

Avaaz has asked YouTube to remove any misinformation on climate change from its recommendations and to make sure that this content does not make money from advertisements. The association also wants YouTube to collaborate with fact-checkers and post correction notices on videos containing false information about climate change.

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