YouTube Misinformation Policy *SPREADS* Misinformation | Part 2
YouTube's Misinformation Policy is spreading a false narrative that people encouraged Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) “injection” to treat COVID. But that never happened.
YouTube’s "Harmful Misinformation Policy” guidelines identify encouraging “injecting Hydroxychloroquine” as a prime example of “dangerous” information. However, it doesn’t appear such content exists anywhere that actually encourages injecting HCQ for COVID-19.
The top Google search result for “injecting Hydroxychloroquine” is a random anti-Trump tweet with zero engagement, that spreads misinformation that Trump encouraged such a remedy.
The following 5 top search results are the YouTube misinformation policy itself.
Likewise, DuckDuckGo only returned three search results—none of which encouraged injecting HCQ but made fun of imaginary people who did because none appear to exist. And so, once again, YouTube’s own misinformation policy is itself misinformation.
HOW DID YOUTUBE’S MISINFO EXPERTS GET SO MISINFORMED?
The false narrative that people are encouraging injecting HCQ is an anti-Trump narrative derived from two previous anti-Trump narratives. Searching “injecting Hydroxychloroquine” without quotation marks returns articles about (1) Trump’s promotion of HCQ as a potential cure to COVID-19, and (2) the false narrative that Trump encouraged people to inject disinfectant to treat COVID-19.
In an April 2020 press conference, President Trump asked a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force if “disinfectant” (not Hydroxychloroquine) could theoretically be used to fight COVID-19.
DONALD TRUMP: “If there is a way we can do something like that by injection…it’d be interesting to check that…you’re gonna have to use medical doctors but it sounds interesting to me.”
Unfortunately, mainstream news headlines (such as on NBC and Forbes) spread misinformation by actively misleading readers into believing that Trump had suggested people inject themselves with disinfectant.
In reality, Trump encouraged *research* into hypothetical treatment but did not actually suggest injecting disinfectant. Nevertheless, the misinformation spread that he had, even from President Biden's White House Chief of Staff, who tweeted that President Trump “told people that they should inject bleach”—a thoroughly debunked false claim.
Similarly, Trump was attacked for promoting HCQ (pills, not injections) as a potential cure for COVID-19, when HCQ trials originally showed hopeful results. The FDA approved HCQ to treat COVID under Emergency Use Authorization but reversed its stance when later trials failed to prove it effective against COVID.
So Trump suggested looking into injecting disinfectant and hydroxychloroquine pills as potential COVID treatments, but contrary to YouTube’s Misinformation Policy, nobody encouraged injecting hydroxychloroquine. That is itself misinformation.
This article has been updated for clarity.