As media outlets thrive on video-centric platforms, YouTube primes more effective methods to counter fake news. The Google-owned company has now added an update to the Information Panels on its platform that tells viewers if a channel that is owned by a news organisation is funded by the government. It comes as YouTube bolsters its efforts to clamp down on the rampant situation of misinformation in India.
Starting Monday, when you search for a video on YouTube’s ‘Watch’ page, both in English and Hindi, you will see the information panel that claims to check the authenticity of newsy videos, in addition to revealing if the channel publishing the video is “funded in whole or in part” by the government. It will even disclose if the channel is a “public broadcast service”. There will be a link to publisher’s Wikipedia page to “equip users with additional information to help them better understand the sources of news content.”
YouTube, in partnership with ‘eligible’ publishers, had previously introduced Information Panels to show fact checks for videos. The fact-checking of the videos relies on open source Schema.org ClaimReview markup process. This process is crosslinked to Google’s other properties that are highly responsible for news dissemination – Google Search and Google News.
“When users come to YouTube, we believe they should be able to make their own decisions about the information they consume,” Tim Katz, Director, Head of News Partnerships, YouTube wrote in a blog post.
Katz further mentioned that YouTube is contributing to maintaining quality journalism in India and other countries. The company had made a commitment of $25 million as a part of the $300 million investment programme by Google News Initiative to provide adequate funds to news organisations for their sustainability. YouTube is operating 10 of the 87 news projects that it announced in December for 23 countries.
“We are also investing in expanded support from YouTube specialists to support news partners grow their presence on YouTube, from providing training to helping with sophisticated technical integrations,” Katz added.
Fake news has appeared as a big challenge to the tech companies that own public platforms for the exchange of content. Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, and other tech companies have congregated to issue standards that help to curtail misinformation on the Internet. So many as these companies have partnered leading fact-checking and news organisations to add authenticity to the content on the basis of its legitimacy.
The companies have also been expanding their efforts to reinforce the transparency of the advertisements available on their respective platforms, especially during the elections. Earlier this year, Facebook and Twitter introduced the ability to see the advertisers, their spends, and the political party they work for to make advertisements transparent and help consumers make uninfluenced decisions.