At YouTube, we’re committed to connecting you with health content from authoritative sources to help you stay informed and live your healthiest life. We’ve developed several features to give you more context on the health content you find on YouTube.
The features below may not be available in all countries/regions and languages. We're working to bring these features to more countries/regions and languages.
Information panels providing health source context
When you watch a YouTube video on a health-related topic, you may notice an information panel providing context on the source underneath the video. This panel is meant to give you more info to help you better understand the sources of health content that you find and watch on YouTube.
To identify which health sources are eligible for this feature, we started in the United States by using a set of principles and definitions developed by a panel of experts convened by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), and reviewed by the American Public Health Association (APHA). NAM is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that brings together top experts in health, medicine, and biomedical science to provide unbiased, evidence-based guidance about health and science. APHA is a professional association of public health practitioners that advocates for public health issues and policies backed by science.
As we expand outside of the United States, we’re referencing the work done by the World Health Organization (WHO), to inform global use of these principles. The WHO is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. We may also reference work done by other agencies, such as in the UK.
In July 2021, the expert panel convened by NAM published foundational principles that can be used to guide identification of potentially credible online health sources in a paper called Identifying Credible Sources of Health Information in Social Media: Principles and Attributes. The WHO and NAM recently convened a meeting of interdisciplinary experts from around the world to review and validate these principles for global application. The principles for authoritative health sources in these papers include that sources should be science-based, objective, transparent, and accountable.
As we begin to adopt principles for authoritative health sources, we are starting with organizations with pre-existing, standardized vetting mechanisms such as:
- Healthcare organizations
- Educational institutions
- Public health departments
- Government organizations
Vetting mechanisms include accreditation, academic journal indexing, and government accountability rules. For more information, go to figure 1 in the NAM paper.
First step of YouTube’s work will focus on sources with pre-existing, standardized vetting mechanisms as defined below. You can review the section below for more details on content from the UK.
|Health source type currently eligible||Pre-existing, standardized vetting mechanism||Expert Panel References in NAM Paper|
Educational Institutions, for example*
* not all examples are included in all countries
Example: Accrediting organization for medical schools.
|Appendix B in NAM Paper|
Health Care Organizations, for example*
* not all examples are included in all countries
Example: Accrediting organization for hospitals.
|Appendix B in NAM Paper|
Academic Journal Indexing
Example: health and medical journals “must meet clear standards for ‘scope and coverage, editorial policies and processes’, scientific and methodological rigor, production and administration, and impact”.
|Page 12 in NAM Paper|
|Government Organizations||Government Accountability Rules||Box 7 in NAM Paper|
Note: This feature is our first step toward identifying and designating authoritative health sources on YouTube. The current health sources types are not exhaustive of these categories, and feature eligibility is subject to change. We’re continuing the work to include sources based on these principles and attributes. We’re working on ways to expand eligibility to more types of health sources in these panels.
Note: If an information panel providing health source context has the incorrect label or if a health entity has an incorrect channel or no channel associated with it, submit feedback using #healthinfo.
Note: "WHO online consultation meeting to discuss global principles for identifying credible sources of health information on social media" by the World Health Organization is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
In the UK, we worked with the National Health Service to develop an approach to informing which channels would be eligible for an information panel. The National Health Service is the umbrella term for the publicly funded healthcare systems of the UK. This approach included the NHS 1) reviewing the principles developed by the expert panel convened by NAM for the UK context and 2) publishing a Standard for Creating Health Content, which outlines essential requirements and best practice guidance for organisations to follow, in order to create high quality health content.
As a starting point in the UK, only NHS organisations are being invited to self-certify against the NHS Standard for Creating Health Content. By completing the self-certification process, an NHS organisation channel will be eligible for information panels indicating NHS credibility.
This approach for the UK was reviewed by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC). The AoMRC concluded that this approach helps give a solid basis for determining the authoritativeness of health sources on social media platforms.
Health content shelf
If you search on YouTube for a topic related to a specific physical or mental health condition, you may notice a shelf with health content in your search results. The health content shelf will include videos related to the health topic you searched for and may include content from other countries/regions that match your search language.
We use the principles outlined by experts convened by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), and verified by the WHO, to inform which channels are eligible for the shelf. Right now only accredited health organizations, academic medical journals, and government entities are eligible for these shelves. In the UK, the main government entity for health is the NHS and as such all NHS organisations will be initially eligible. NHS organisation channels must also self-certify against the NHS Standard for Creating Health Content to be eligible for the shelf.
Health content shelves may not be available for all health conditions in search results. We’re working to include more health conditions in the shelves and expand eligibility to more channels.
Health information panels in search
When you search on YouTube for health-related topics, such as COVID-19, you may notice a health information panel in your search results. These panels show info like symptoms, prevention, and treatment options. This info is from authoritative sources like the World Health Organization and other medical institutions.
Health information panels also link you to the institutions’ websites to learn more. We give you this context so you have locally relevant, authoritative info on health-related topics.
In some countries/regions, you may also notice links to clinically confirmed self-assessments from Google or local health authorities. Based on your self-assessment answers, you’ll get more info on what kind of support or medical care might be appropriate for you.
Where the info comes from
We make sure the info in YouTube health information panels comes from government agencies, health ministries, and other respected medical institutions. We’ll continue to develop these panels and include more organizations and health-related topics in the future.
When to consult a healthcare professional
Health-related info on YouTube doesn’t apply to everyone and isn’t medical advice. If you have a medical concern, make sure to get in touch with a healthcare provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, get in touch with your doctor or your local emergency number.
Info YouTube stores about your searches
Health features only surface if your current search or the video you’re watching is related to a health topic. Your watch and search history does not trigger these features, but if you’d like to find and remove your searches, go to your data in YouTube. You can also learn how to view and delete search history.
Send feedback if there are issues with the health features on YouTube; or if you have a suggestion:-
- Submit feedback via More in the panels, or
- Send us feedback using the Menu from your profile picture.
- If an information panel providing health source context has the incorrect label or if a health entity has an incorrect channel or no channel associated with it, include #healthinfo in your feedback.