World Media

YouTube releases plan to fight back against misinformation videos

YouTube releases plan to fight back against misinformation videos

Google-owned YouTube Monday announced a new commitment of 20 million USA dollars to making authoritative news to counter false online information spreading on its platform, especially at the time of breaking-news events.

The feature that users will be able to see today comes in the form of info cards atop YouTube search results.

Users watching "videos on a small number of well-established historical and scientific topics that have often been subject to misinformation" will be presented with a brief contextual summary from sources such as Wikipedia and Encyclopædia Britannica.

Similar to Facebook's attempts to fight fake news by adding information about publishers and articles to News Feed, YouTube said it is will add context to search results about breaking news topics to help people quickly see if a video is from a trustworthy source.

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Google also plans to showcase more local news and has begun testing features around the USA, making it easy to access local news in the living room, YouTube's fastest-growing screen.

He acknowledged the problems that have cropped up in the wake of school shootings and other tragedies, when videos full of conspiracy theories and other nonsense were served up to unsuspecting viewers.

Beginning in the coming weeks, when YouTube users in the USA search for videos on breaking news, they will see short excerpts of the news as well as the links to different media.

The investment will be partly used to fund the working group to lead news product features for which the company is changing how its site works to "make authoritative sources readily accessible".

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Titled "Developing news" it will appear immediately under the search field, above the list of video results.

YouTube is implementing several changes to how it displays news stories in the US.

Along with the Google News Initiative and Google.org, it has teamed up with the Poynter Institute, Stanford University, Local Media Association and the National Association for Media Literacy Education to support MediaWise, a US-based initiative created to equip 1m teens with digital literacy skills. John Green, Ingrid Nilsen and Mark Watson will work with MediaWise to educate teenagers about digital media literacy.

The Breaking News feature is now available in 17 countries, including the USA, U.K., France, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Nigeria, India and Japan. In the coming months, Google plans to double the number of countries where these highlights are available.

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