Ali Kemal Erenler*


Associate Professor in Emergency Medicine, Hitit University, School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, Çorum, Turkey


Background: Video-sharing social media platforms are considered prominent sources of knowledge, particularly by young people. In this study, we aimed to categorize YouTube© videos in the Turkish language according to their contents and perform an evaluation based on DISCERN criteria.

Methods: After obtaining permission from the Ministry of Health, we performed a search on YouTube© by entering the keyword “koronavirüs” (coronavirus in Turkish) on December 5, 2020. The most viewed 100 videos were investigated considering view counts, likes, dislikes, video durations, and date of upload. Then, the videos were divided into four categories as Interviews, News, Documentaries and Entertainment videos. DISCERN method (consisting of 15 key questions plus an overall quality rating) was applied to videos to investigate their quality. Each component was evaluated using a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (poor quality) to 5 (high quality). The groups were compared according to these variables. Also, the top 10 videos in each category were analysed in detail. 

Results: The videos cumulatively attracted 79.443.977 times and totaled 15.3 hours of duration. All four categories got low DISCERN scores (News: 2.6, Documentary: 3, Interview: 2.6, Entertainment: 2.8) indicating poor quality. The mean duration of videos in the News category was significantly shorter when compared to other categories (1,9 minutes, p<0,05). The number of mean views of videos in the Documentary category was significantly higher (n=929,999, p<0,05) than the News category (n=673,641). Entertainment videos were both liked and disliked significantly higher than the others (n=16.818, n=1.578, respectively, p<0,05). Only two government-supported public information videos could take place in the list and these videos gained the highest DISCERN scores (4 and 5, respectively). Interestingly, Entertainment videos achieved a higher DISCERN score when compared to the News and Interview videos. 

Conclusion: Social media is considered the main source of information by many individuals. However, our results revealed that people are under threat of misinformation spreading from social media. Health Organizations and social media representatives should work in collaboration to keep this platform clean. 


COVID-19, YouTube, misinformation, DISCERN score.