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Washington (AFP) – Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals can seek certification for their YouTube channels, the video-sharing platform said Thursday, in an effort to limit misinformation on the site.

The change will make it easier for viewers to access videos containing “high-quality health information”, YouTube said.

“This is a big step forward in helping people find and connect more easily with content from the amazing community of healthcare professionals on YouTube,” he added.

Apart from doctors and nurses, mental health professionals and health information providers can also apply for YouTube verification which allows users to easily spot their videos.

“This next step will allow us to expand to include high-quality information from a broader group of healthcare channels,” the company said.

According to the National Academy of Medicine, approximately 90% of Americans use social media to seek health information.

YouTube came under fire last year for hosting videos criticizing Covid-19 vaccines or contradicting health guidelines from the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In response, in September 2021, it banned misleading and inaccurate content about vaccines.

It also launched a limited program that allowed videos from public health departments, hospitals and governments, among other entities, to have labels telling users they were authoritative.

It is this program that is now being expanded.

To access the program, healthcare professionals must provide proof of their professional licenses, follow best practices for sharing scientific health information and have a YouTube channel in good standing, the company said.

YouTube, headquartered in San Bruno, Calif., has a reach of around two billion monthly active users.