YouTube is easily the biggest and widely used video streaming application in the world, with over 2 billion users worldwide. As per reports, there are over 149 billion videos on this platform, with over 4 billion new videos uploaded by creators each month.
YouTube can be informative and educational for those who prefer doing things at home without professional help and DIYs. It has all sorts of videos, ranging from how to change a light bulb to how to assist in intricate medical surgeries.

Since it has such a wide array of content, it is expected that not every video will be factual or perfectly safe for each person in the world to view or try. Though YouTube has a very intricate and elaborate policy regarding age-restricted videos and unsafe material, history has shown that some things tend to slip away.

Woman watches YouTube videos to perform self-abortion after being raped

How YouTube can cause mishaps

In a recent case in Nagpur, a woman risked her life while performing her own abortion at home, using kitchen utensils and house tools after watching the steps of a YouTube video. She gave birth to a stillborn and cut the umbilical cord following the video.

This content, being made easily available, can lead to the spread of misinformation and even lead to dangerous repercussions, including death. Content showing surgical procedures and at-home remedies should always contain a disclaimer or be hidden behind a security wall to protect impressionable viewers from performing these acts without training.

Elliot Roger, a man from the US, used to document his life in a YouTube series on his channel. His videos contained hostile speech and graphic details of him thinking of harming his peers, specifically women. He described in his videos how he would harm his fellow classmates, and later, ended up shooting and killing 6 people.

Such videos can have a negative impact on young minds, who are yet to learn the social and behavioral norms of society. Over the years, videos justifying the actions of leaders such as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and many other ruthless leaders were present on YouTube for a while, before getting flagged down.

Such videos can manipulate facts and change the thinking of young people, who in the 21st century, rely on social media for consuming content and information.

Does YouTube spread misinformation?
YouTube usually has strict policies when it comes to spreading misinformation and age restriction of certain videos. Still, some videos can slip away from the algorithm and spread hate speech and other misinformed facts on the video streaming platform.

Since practically anyone can upload a video on YouTube, one must not rely on the source unless and until it's a verified channel. One should also check the source of the information, and rely on other portals and references to crosscheck the facts of the video before believing everything it states.

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