The best and worst feature of YouTube is that anybody can upload videos and garner an audience.
While this allows anybody to report news, it also allows anybody to report fake news, and YouTube is a breeding ground for misinformation.
That having been said, the biggest video sharing platform in the world has revealed how it will fight fake news.
In the coming weeks YouTube will begin showing a preview of news stories alongside search results for news. This will be exclusive to the US to start with but the aim is to give folks more context and authoritative sources for news. The firm says that it will also remind viewers that breaking news can change rapidly.
In other parts of the world, notably the US, UK, France, Italy, Japan, India, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, and Nigeria, videos from news sources will be highlighted on the home page of the YouTube app. This feature seems restricted to the YouTube mobile application as we could not see it on the YouTube website.
YouTube says this will give users better access to breaking news from news organisations. Whether this will be curated to keep opinion and misinformation from tainting the water remains to be seen.
Users will also start seeing information from third-parties such as Wikipedia alongside videos that attempt to sew misinformation. Videos that call into question the validity of events such as the moon landing or the Oklahoma City Bombing will now have a link to a Wikipedia or Encyclopædia Britannica alongside them starting today.
“We know there is a lot of work to do, but we’re eager to provide a better experience to users who come to YouTube every day to learn more about what is happening in the world from a diversity of sources,” said YouTube.
Fighting fake news is a constant battle and it’s clear that YouTube doesn’t want to muzzle news source but rather give folks as much information as possible and if you ask us, the more information folks have, the better.