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[flagged] YouTube says it pulled Bolsonaro videos for Covid-19 misinformation (reuters.com)
35 points by giuliomagnifico 14 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 57 comments

> "Our rules do not allow content that states that hydroxychloroquine and/or ivermectin are effective in treating or preventing COVID-19, that states there is a cure for the disease, or says that masks do not work to prevent the spread of the virus," it said in a statement."

Weird, I can still find on YT videos stating that masks don't work and we shouldn't wear them from the Surgeon General, Fauci, The Guardian, NYT, and other major experts, institutions and media. When will they be purged?

The Guardian:

> Masks should not be weared and they are potentially unhelpful because they give a false sense of security


I will report it right now for the greater good.

Good. Do it. I will too if I see them still showing up.

Yes, weird, but they were also clearly stating their action about these videos in particular, not an action against all of them.

As I'm sure you can imagine, it is much easier and reliable to pull videos from a particular user than all videos related to a certain subject. If they did that, they'd probably risk also taking down Joe Rogan (which at this point would be awesome, but also a very bad).

Only ‘popular’ videos will be removed, perhaps. There are videos on YouTube espousing hate and violence, lies and slander, but they only get a handful of use. YouTube seems to only care when these get popular, possibly because they fear the advertisers.

I would like to see a video service that does not censor unless its acts of, or incitement, of violence or breaking the law.

don't ! they're actually the last proof we have "scientific consensus " on those issues is a myth.

Did you actually watch the video? It's from Feb 2020.

That's the thing about scientific consensus: It evolves over time with the discovery of new evidence.

Viral propagation has been studied for decades, and studies are still being made on what the greatest factor is. In general, there's still absolutely no explanation on why some regions seem spared and other not. Models have been proven wrong time and time again, especially in the covid crisis.

My point is that those kind of videos are important to understand why some people frown upon radical decisions ( such as censorship) being taken based on today's "consensus".

What do you even mean? We are almost two years into this pandemic and the coincidental benefit of different countries reacting differently is that we have a pretty good understanding what the factors are that drive the spread of SARS-Cov2 and it's variants.

It's by no means perfect, but it's surprisingly good.

> Models have been proven wrong time and time again, especially in the covid crisis.

That's an important take-away: models are only as good as the assumptions, all models are wrong to some extent. This becomes especially apparent if you try to predict things, which is easy to get wrong. The real strengths of models is not to predict, but to explain.

The real strengths of models is not to predict, but to explain

now that's a bold claim... if i'm not mistaken general relativity ultimate test was actually to predict trajectories we hadn't observed yet.

i can model any behavior happening in the past, with a sufficient number of parameters in my equation. that doesn't say much on the quality of the model.

Sorry, that’s not the reason. Fauci has since stated that he was lying to protect the supply of masks for medical purposes. Whilst the scientific consensus has evolved on masks, that has nothing to do with this lie (stating information you know to be wrong as fact is called lying). Nor does it have anything to do with his change of heart.


(and of course it proves what everyone does kind of knows: misinformation doesn’t just come from “weird” aunts on Facebook and Russians, but from official authorities if they feel lying to you would protect their interest, conveniently equated to societal interest. This becomes especially questionable when financial authorities do it and especially reprehensible when politicians use their positions in authorities to further their own agenda/ideology. Doubly so when it’s racist)

YouTube's definition of COVID-19 misinformation: "Medical misinformation that contradicts local health authorities’ or the World Health Organization’s (WHO)" [1]

January 2020: WHO claims that there's "no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission" for SARS-CoV-2 [2]. Should YT have removed all videos discussing an alternative hypothesis?

June 2020: WHO claims asymptomatic spread is "very rare"[3]. Should YT have deleted all videos claiming that asymptomatic spread causes the majority of infections?

October 2020: WHO does "not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus"[4]. Should YT have banned all lockdown advocates?

[1] https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/9891785?hl=en

[2] https://archive.vn/LS9kW

[3] https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/08/asymptomatic-coronavirus-pat...

[4] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-12/world-health-organiza...

there's a very famous hospital / research institute here in france ( ihu marseille), who has treated more than 20k patient with its own protocol involving HCQ (among other things), claiming for more than a year that it has a noticeable impact on the patient outcome.

They're not politicians, not gurus selling snake oil. They're actually a group of professor of medecine (PUPH, highest level of qualification in france), running a large, government funded public health institution.

And they have been posting weekly updates on their youtube channel, based on their data from their own patients ( as well as very interesting specialized researcher presentation about the virus)

Who in their right mind would think a moderator in a software company would be more qualified and legitimate enough to actually censor them ??

That's just absurd.

Raoult's claims have been thoroughly disproven by the scientific community and he is absolutely a snake oil seller right now. His initial """studies""" involved throwing out of the patient set the patients that died/whose situation worsened. His enormous publication count is only held up by the fact that any student at the IHU is forced to include him as a co-author of their thesis/PhD. Oh, and you forgot to mention that the IHU charged over 2000 euros for a full day stay to be treated with HCQ (when the treatment is... just eat some HCQ), which is being seen very much like embezzlement.

So, no, they've not "treated" patients. HCQ's effects are nil. Azythromicine does not work either. Raoult might very well be a prolific scientist, but on Covid, he is absolutely full of shit.

All those claims have been addressed by its own videos (or doctors from his team), which i encourage you to view (i'm not qualified to judge on the quality of the institute researcher methodology).

my point is that youtube should clearly not take part in that scientific debate.

I have never seen any two doctors give the exact same medecine for any illness. I'm still having trouble understand why that should be the case for that one.

Spoiler alert: No one cares about "professor of medecine (PUPH, highest level of qualification in france)"

What? It's the very definition of snake oil. It's the same people who convinced Trump to promote hydroxychloroquine.

except he doesn't sell the oil.

He also didn't "convice" anyone, he just gave its own results on a treatment that was tried in different countries at the time. The fact that trump publicaly took a stand poisoned the debate to a degree that made it completely impossible to discuss the thing calmly up to today..

you seem pretty convinced.

You know, I met not so few physics PhDs completely immersed in perpetual motion engine cult, PhD economists claiming "endless money" through monetary manipulations, and MFin graduates claiming discovering "a new ingenious super duper trading strategy" which turn to be banal spread trading when you undo the math bullshit.

All of them took great insult when I point to banal arithmetic errors in their "innovations" down to taking the dispute to tvitter and press.

It's impossible to get through to such people. The more obvious is their folly, the bigger extremes they go to self-convince themselves that "they really can't be wrong, even if they are"

PhDs today may signify the level of knowledge, but not necessarily the level of intelligence.

I think intelligence is hardly the problem. It is something far more intangible that perhaps should be called 'wisdom'.

Your statement sounds a bit hard to believe, though. If you had met one physics PhD who was 'completely immersed in perpetual motion engine cult' I would say that this could be true. But 'not so few' really stretches credibilty.

I think you are both correct. For the frequency of such interactions here is a simple experiment (that I know to work): Follow a couple of hand picked accounts on Twitter. Over time Twitter will suggest who to follow, follow these accounts as well. Within the next 2 months or so, your Twitter feed will almost completely fill up with that cult. It feels like a completely different world, it's scary.

>> PhDs today may signify the level of knowledge, but not necessarily the level of intelligence.

> I think intelligence is hardly the problem. It is something far more intangible that perhaps should be called 'wisdom'.

It can actually be the problem. Intelligence often manifested as an increased ability for self-deception and rationalization.

Not so fridge they are.

The cold fusion clowns go around TED events, collect research grants, and VC investments though they withdrew the only paper they published for a glaring arithmetics "mistake."


Those are not the only ones on my memory. Charles Chase with his "vortex fusion," and very sketchy Tri Alpha.

Samely, the perpetual motion cranks like Salvatore Pais were always hanging around those events popular with tech bohemia.

Has it been fully proven that Hydroxychloroquine was not effective? The top result on Google seems to say otherwise.[0]

I don't know if this study proves it is or it isn't. I'm making the point that there is at least some proof that it is. Why should YouTube be the arbiter of health information? This seems like another example of big tech censorship.

[0] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7534595/#:~:tex....

Proving a negative is difficult.

Not an expert but from what I understand;

Hydroxychloroquine suppresses the immune system which is apparently beneficial if covid-19 causes an overreaction or cytokine swarm in your body.

But steroids, specifically dextramethasone also do that and are much safer with less side effects.

Does chloroquine provide additional medical benefits that the steroids don't? I don't know and wonder as well.

it seems to have antiviral properties which reduce the virus load in a patient ( if taken soon enough). I recommend the ihu marseille videos on youtube from mid/late 2020 at the time when the debate was heating over his protocol.

Warning : the main guy has a huge ego and likes to be contrarian, but the institute does legitimate science on real patients, together with other professors in his team.

It's one thing to give a drug as part of a cocktail/protocol because it "might just work as well" when the risk/benefit is kind of even.

It's a whole other thing to prove HDQ is effective in a randomized controlled trial. As far as I know the group has not published a RTC and in general there is no RTC showing a clear benefit of HDQ in treating Covid. On the contrary there are several RTCs showing no effect, e.g. in preventing Covid [1].

[1] https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa2016638

problem with rct on covid is that mortality rates are so low that in order to proove anything, you would have to rely on a huge number of patients not a lot of institution have acess to.

We had one attempt in europe at trying out various drugs on a sufficient scale but it failed miserably to reach any conclusions due to lack of patient (and used absurd quantities for HCQ, 6 times the maximum dose, which made a few people think the guy organizing the thing weren't that good anyway).

Yes and no. Yes, mortality is low generally, but grows exponentially with age, so pretty high for older people (1-10+ %).

And you don't have to choose death as your trial end point, you can take something else that is clinically meaningful, e.g. duration of stay in the hospital (not an expert).

What seems to make things difficult with Covid (according to a German virologist working on treatment options) is that we more and more believe Covid is a conglomerate of several different "sub-diseases" (can't remember the correct medical term), i.e. the virus can trigger qualitatively different physiological reactions in different people, and it's not clear at all why.

Interesting you mention old people, because one of the most striking results IHU team claimed to have with HCQ was on EPAD (old people house). Unfortunately, their trial was stopped by the health authority (probably at the time HCQ was thought to be toxic based on a now retracted fraudulent study).

I know i start to sound like a zealot, but i've been followed this team's work for more than a year now, and i'm absolutely stunned their work isn't more valued, at least in their country. I'm not a health expert, but i've worked for a long enough time to feel when someone's during serious work (not to mention the fact that they've often been very informative on the virus itself, which made me less surprised by the evolution of the pandemic).

That's not even the point. In particular, the article is more of a opinion piece since the author goes out of his way to judge. Anyway, the point is big tech now thinks they're the ones up to decide what is truth or not based on whatever criteria they label as "scientific".

Unfortunately we are past the point where the deliberate spread of misinformation can be ignored. Unfortunately social media, as facilitated by big tech, does have serious negative externalities.

I wish it didn't and social media does have a lot of benefits in general, but we have to agree that the current spread of misinformation is costing lives, eroding trust in science, in society and democracy.

That's no comment on what to do - I'm simply saying that doing nothing already has significant negative cost.

Bolsonaro defends that hydroxychloroquine should be used even in cases without symptoms and should be administered, among other means, through nebulization. There's a bunch of other drugs he affirms can cure or prevent COVID too.

Yes. It has been.

Citation would be helpful. "Fully proven" is a pretty high bar.

<sarcasm (maybe?)>

No citations are findable. All indexes (search engines) prevent finding said data, all videos are missing, all forums/boards are purged, and discussing over zoom/voice results in a disconnect.

Also, now Google, Facebook and others have tagged you as a conspiracy nut, just for hitting a flagged term.

Youtube Alternatives :

Centralized : Dailymotion, Bitchute, Rumble, DTube, Vimeo, Vidlii, DLive, Triller

Decentralized : Odysee(LBRY), Peertube

Peertube uses the same pubsub stuff that Mastodon/webfinger do. So if you have an account on one of those you can subscribe to ant peertube channels with it.

Having to use AI for moderation means FAANG is too big and should be broken up.

Youtube was, is and will forever be for cat videos, not for serious information - or so at least the moderation policy makes it out to be. There are plenty of alternative video distribution channels out there which don't have this problem, the only thing which needs to be solved is video discovery. It is quite possible to use Youtube for this purpose with a link pointing at the real content, a short clip will do for that purpose. Once enough serious channels start using Youtube as a programming guide they will probably start blocking that type of clip but hopefully by then the cat has been let out of the bag and there will no longer be a need for using Youtube for video discovery since people will know they have to look elsewhere for their non-cat-video needs.

> Youtube was, is and will forever be for cat videos, not for serious information - or so at least the moderation policy makes it out to be.

The problem isn't the moderation policy, it's the medium. It encourages easy passive absorption of anything presented in a slick matter by people who barely know what they're talking about.

Take for instance this slick video talking about VHS capture by Technology Connections, which I used to have vaguely positive feelings about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZC5Zr3NC2PY

The people on a forum with really deep knowledge on the subject have poor things to say about it: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-capture/10059-modern-a.... They say he only has a poor gasp of the subject, and half the time sounds like he's just reading off of Wikipedia.

> There are plenty of alternative video distribution channels out there which don't have this problem, the only thing which needs to be solved is video discovery.

No, those "alternative video distribution channels" are usually far worse, precisely because of that lack of moderation. Except in a very few cases (specifically some gun videos, and Serikzhan Bilash), most of the original content that has to flee to them is garbage.

The medium online video does not necessarily encourage passive absorption, that is more due to the recommendations system combined with autoplay which is tuned to keep viewers stuck to their tubes for as long as possible. Take away the recommendations and disable autoplay and what you're left with is just a way to show video content, with all the pros and cons of such. While I prefer textual content over video I know that this is not a universal and as such there certainly is a place for those videos describing how to tune a guitar, how to floss the cat and how to bake hamburger buns.

As to alternative video distribution channels being "worse" than Youtube, well, yes, the average quality of the content "relegated" to alternative channels is bound to be lower than that on Youtube simply because they apply both legitimate as well as illegitimate (political, commercial or otherwise) reasons to ban content. The value of the alternative channels lies in their willingness to distribute videos which were banned for illegitimate reasons, not in their use by those who were banned from Youtube for legitimate reasons. You can simply ignore the thrash content when using these alternatives just like you (hopefully) ignore the thrash on Youtube et al.

other distributions don't have those problems because they have no where near the user base.

serious information is for people who crosscheck their information, academically through books or through additional research. No place on the Internet is for serious information on it's own.

Several of the alternative video distribution systems can be self-hosted since they are based around P2P video distribution (PeerTube uses webtorrent, odysee uses LBRY) so it will be possible to get around censorship as long as the network providers keep from colluding with the censors to keep out content which does not fit the desired narrative. Even if they do there are ways to get around this censorship but this makes it harder for normal users to access the content.

That bit about serious information being for people who cross-check information etc. would work if they were allowed to access all sources, something which is made difficult by certain viewpoints being blocked by several of the largest distribution platforms.

What you say about "no place on the 'net being for serious information on its own" is not necessarily true, as long as the above conditions are met - i.e. no network-level censorship - it is possible to present an overview of the current level of understanding on a subject. This used to be the case in scientific journals, nearly all of which are available online. The SARS2-pandemic made short shrift with this reliability when many of the journals started to align with the desired narrative, sometimes by simply refusing to publish studies which went against the narrative [X], sometimes by actively publishing false studies [1,2].

[X| here there would be links to papers on the seemingly proven efficacy of Ivermectin, the potentially useful nature of Hydroxychloroquine, the "statistical certainty" of the virus having escaped from the Wuhan institute of virology, etc. Alas, there are no such links since the journals refused the articles even though they were written by people with a proven scientific background and came with a bevy of evidence. Had the articles been published they could have been discussed in the open and their contents thereby proven or disproven without fear of retribution or cancellation since the works appeared in well-known and -respected journals. Now this is impossible, those who try to bring up articles published in less well-known journals or aggregators like arXiv often find themselves accused of quackery - which was the purpose of forcing those articles to be published there. For the respected journals this is a case of 'mission complete but reputation tarnished'.

[1] https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6...

[2] https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2007621

Back then (not too long ago really) I'd give you a thesis and you or someone else would give me an anti thesis, and, if anything, call me on my BS. Now we have big tech/media as sources of the truest truth, saving us from doing this hard work.

Why on earth are people flagging this? It's from Reuters, about a large media property owned by one of the largest companies on the planet.

Seems to be a pattern on HN over the past couple years: if it doesn't fit a certain progressive narrative, then it gets flagged or downvoted. The irony to me is that's exactly what news should be - things that are new.

I have no idea but I was thinking the same, probably due to the political guy involved in the news.

It is really scary and serious. Big Tech are censoring politicians and cures.

Or curating scientifical misinformation.

And we'll never know which is which if only "information" approved by the Big Tech censors is allowed to exist.

The problem is of course solvable when you realize Youtube is not synonymous with "video on the internet", there are other hosters too.

Of course I am not blind. Big tech companies have just too much power. I hope governments will split them up without being authoritarian but I am afraid this is asking too much.

Do not commit sacrilege or you will be excommunicated.

Youtube is a privately owned platform and thus is completely free and justified to remove your videos for any reason, or without any reason at all. If you don't like it, create your own Youtube by spending billions upon billions of dollars and competing with Google who are also free to abuse their monopoly in mobile phones and search engines and web browsers to crush you.

Don't forget regulatory capture that prevents any new companies from springing into existance

Of course, remember that Google/Youtube is an AI/ML powerhouse who can automatically match content to copyright owners and you can't. So be ready to fight thousands of copyright related complaints as soon as you launch your site. And the government, motivated by Disney, will come hard after your site, arguing that it facilitates illegal sharing of copyrighted content.

So good luck.

So a private business can choose to not force people to wear masks? Ignore the lockdown? I mean it’s a private business. if it’s good for YouTube it’s good for everybody else. Unless you’re just being a hypocrite.

hyperbole much?

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