×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

YouTube Launches Initiative to Fight Fake News, Pledges $25 Million to Support News Orgs

You can’t always trust the veracity of stuff posted online — and obviously YouTube is no exception.

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

YouTube’s role in promoting conspiracy theories has flared up in recent months. In February, for example, a YouTube video suggesting that one of the high-school students who survived the mass killing in Parkland, Fla., David Hogg, was an actor hired by gun-control advocates briefly became YouTube’s No. 1 trending video. YouTube removed the clip within a few hours, citing violation of its policy on harassment and bullying.

In the wake of such incidents, Google and YouTube have since seen the need to take more proactive steps to support news on YouTube as well as educate users about spotting fake news. YouTube executives Neal Mohan, chief product officer and Robert Kyncl, chief business officer, outlined the new measures in a blog post Monday.

YouTube said it will provide funding in about 20 global markets to support news organizations in “building sustainable video operations.” The grants will let new orgs build out video capabilities, train staff on video best practices, and enhance production facilities. YouTube says it also will expand its team focused on supporting news publishers.

Among other steps YouTube is taking: a new fact-checking box on certain videos about “well-established historical and scientific topics that have often been subject to misinformation, like the moon landing and the Oklahoma City Bombing,” the execs wrote. Starting Monday, users will begin seeing information from third parties, including Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica, alongside videos in that category. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki previously announced plans to roll out the feature.

Next, for breaking news, within the next few weeks in the U.S., YouTube will provide a short preview of news articles in search results that link to full articles during the initial hours of a major news event. That will also include “a reminder that breaking and developing news can rapidly change,” Mohan and Kyncl wrote.

YouTube also has begun testing features that distribute local news in the YouTube app for connected TVs across 25 media markets in the U.S. “So far, local news has seen strong engagement, and we will be expanding it to dozens more markets like Cincinnati, Las Vegas and Kansas City,” the YouTube execs wrote.

On another front, YouTube said it has established a working group with news organizations and experts to help the video site develop new product features and improve the news experience on YouTube. Early members of the working group include Vox Media, Jovem Pan, and India Today.

In addition, YouTube, the Google News Initiative and Google.org, are teaming 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.

As part of the partnership with MediaWise, six YouTube creators — including John Green, Ingrid Nilsen and Mark Watson — will be creating videos intended to raise awareness about digital literacy and help educate teens about identifying legit sources of news and information.

The video site also said it will widen the rollout of YouTube’s Top News feature, which highlights videos from news sources in search results, and its Breaking News shelf directly on the YouTube homepage. Currently, the Top News and Breaking News features are launched in 17 countries, including the U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Japan, India, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, and Nigeria. YouTube expects to double the number of countries where those features are available in the next few months.

More Digital

  • Chinese Tech Firm Huawei Seeks Content

    Beleaguered Chinese Tech Firm Huawei Seeks Content for Expansion Into Southeast Asia

    One of the most surprising first-time attendees at FilMart is Chinese tech giant Huawei, which has come to Hong Kong to acquire the video content it needs to support its strategy of expansion into Southeast Asia. The company is currently embroiled in a PR nightmare as it defends itself against accusations that its equipment could [...]

  • Canadian Animation Shop Guru Studio Makes

    Canadian Animation Shop Guru Studio Makes Moves in China

    Guru Studio, an award-winning Canadian animation studio, is exploring the possibility of opening an office in Hong Kong or mainland China. The Toronto-based company is keen to get a slice of China’s animation market, which has been growing quickly. Louise Jones, Guru vice president of finance and business affairs, said at a FilMart panel discussion [...]

  • Netflix's Newest Interactive Animated Kids Show

    Netflix Announces New Interactive Animated Kids Show 'Battle Kitty'

    Netflix is doubling down on interactive content for kids. The streaming service announced a new interactive animated show on Tuesday dubbed “Battle Kitty” from Matt Layzell. The company didn’t share a premiere date for the show yet. “Netflix has given me the incredible opportunity to help change how young people see themselves,” said Layzell. “Like [...]

  • stream march madness 2019 online free

    NCAA Tournament: How to Stream March Madness Online

    The rankings are in, and the 68-team field is set. March Madness is officially upon us, and if you want to catch the action from home, from the office, or on-the-go, there are a couple ways to stream March Madness online for free. The first game kicks off today, and the tournament runs until April [...]

  • Google Stream Detailed, Named Stadia

    Google's Stadia Aims to Turn Any Screen Into a Powerful Gaming Console

    Stadia is Google’s game streaming service that is designed to let you play high-end games on most modern screens — be they phone, laptop, tablet, computer or TV — with very little download time and no loss of fidelity, the company announced Tuesday at the Game Developers Conference. The service is launching in 2019. Cost [...]

  • Amazon Focused on Building the Game

    Amazon Focused on Building the Game Industry's Digital Infrastructure

    While most of the discussion around Amazon’s presence in the game industry revolves around their scattershot game projects and rumored cloud gaming platform, the tech giant has been far more involved in building the backend infrastructure for major games. Companies like Square Enix and Zynga both use Amazon Games Tech, Amazon’s portfolio of services that [...]

  • patreon logo

    Patreon Launches Tiered Pricing for Creators, Introduces Rates for Micropayments

    Membership services platform Patreon is growing up: The company announced Tuesday that it is moving away from its one-size-fits-all pricing model for creators, introducing two new tiers in the process. In addition, Patreon is also standardizing its payment processing fees, and introducing a new dedicated rate for small-donor transactions. Patreon’s cut of the membership fees [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content