Google’s YouTube says it is taking several steps to ensure the veracity of news on its service by cracking down on misinformation and supporting news organizations. The company is joining its parent company Google, as well as Facebook and Apple, in campaigns to stem fake news ahead of the US midterm elections.
The company said on Monday it will make “authoritative” news sources more prominent, especially in the wake of breaking news events when misinformation can spread quickly. YouTube also said it will commit $25 million over the next several years to improving news on YouTube and tackling “emerging challenges” such as misinformation. That sum includes funding to help news organizations around the world build “sustainable video operations,” such as by training staff and improving production facilities. The money would not fund video creation.
At such times, YouTube will begin showing users short text previews of news stories in video search results, as well as warnings that the stories can change. The goal is to counter the fake videos that can proliferate immediately after shootings, natural disasters and other major happenings.
For example, YouTube search results prominently showed videos purporting to “prove” that mass shootings like the one that killed at least 59 in Las Vegas were fake, acted out by “crisis actors.”