YouTube launches $25m crackdown on 'fake news' videos

Lester Mason
July 10, 2018

YouTube executives Neal Mohan, chief product officer and Robert Kyncl, chief business officer, outlined the new measures in a blog post Monday.

On Monday, Google's YouTube announced that it is committing $25 million to help support legitimate news organizations, and also detailed new features meant to flag misinformation and highlight authoritative news sources.

Within days of the Las Vegas shooting in October 2017, for instance, search results on the site promised videos suggesting that law enforcement had deceived the public, and that the shooting was a "false flag" attack staged by the government to bring in gun control.

This money will go towards employing experts to help develop news-specific features, funding sustainable video operations in 20 global markets, and expanding YouTube's existing support team that are dedicated to training and assisting news organizations around the world. YouTube will also add more members to its team that supports news publishers. Along with the Google News Initiative and, we have teamed up with the Poynter Institute, Stanford University, Local Media Association, and the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) to support MediaWise, a USA -based initiative created to equip 1 million teens with digital literacy skills.

YouTube has been blamed for the proliferation of conspiracy theories about historical topics including the moon landing and news events like the 2016 presidential election and Sandy Hook and Parkland, Florida school shootings, with its search and recommendation algorithms cited in particular for pushing problematic videos to more viewers.

Finally, Google says that it's going to start showing info cards from sources like Wikipedia and Encyclopædia Britannica alongside "a small number of well-established historical and scientific topics that have often been subject to misinformation". YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki previously announced plans to roll out the feature. This will appear at the top of the search results and will include a reminder that breaking news can rapidly change. As a result, over the next few weeks YouTube users in the US will see short previews in YouTube search results with links to the full news article.

It's also testing features that will surface local news on the YouTube television app.

It's harder to produce accurate and informative videos in the same time frame, so something Mohan called "a new information panel" will appear at the top of search results around developing news stories.

Lots of people turn to YouTube for most, if not all, of their video consumption. Currently, the Top News and Breaking News features are launched in 17 countries, including the USA, U.K., France, Italy, Japan, India, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, and Nigeria. The company says it will double the number of countries that can access these features soon.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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