Google has announced it is getting serious about combating fake news and promoting authoritative news sources on YouTube, specifically YouTube search. The company said it is “committing $25M to a YouTube-specific investment” to target and work on these challenges.
In addition to the monetary investment in the cause, Google is investing in its YouTube search results and algorithm.
Google said it is looking to provide more sources and context on breaking news-related searches in YouTube. Since it takes publishers a bit more time to create high-quality videos around a breaking news topic, YouTube will “start providing a short preview of news articles in search results on YouTube that link to the full article during the initial hours of a major news event,” they said. YouTube will also place a reminder that breaking and developing news can rapidly change, to convey to the searcher that the facts around the story, as covered, may change. This is rolling out in the US, in YouTube results over the upcoming weeks.
Here is a screen shot of the proposed results in these cases:
YouTube also said it has expanded its Top News and Breaking News features to a total of 17 countries, including the US, the UK, France, Italy, Japan, India, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria and more. That number will double in the coming months. This helps users find quality news and sources more quickly and efficiently within YouTube.
In addition, Google is now giving users more sources of information on topical searches and videos to give them a wider range of opinions. YouTube has launched a way for users to see information from third parties, including Wikipedia and Encyclopædia Britannica, “alongside videos on a small number of well-established historical and scientific topics that have often been subject to misinformation, like the moon landing and the Oklahoma City Bombing,” Google said. Here is a screen shot:
Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer and Robert Kyncl, chief business officer, added:
Along with the Google News Initiative and Google.org, 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 U.S.-based initiative designed to equip 1 million teens with digital literacy skills. Six incredible YouTube Creators, including John Green, Ingrid Nilsen, and Mark Watson, will be working with MediaWise to bring awareness to digital literacy and help educate teens.
We remain committed to working with the journalism community to build a more sustainable video ecosystem for news organizations. 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.
Google and Facebook have been under pressure to re-evaluate how news is surfaced and presented on their platforms since the rise of fake news and misinformation around the 2016 US presidential election and Britain’s Brexit vote.