YouTube invests $25 million into improving breaking news
In an effort to combat disinformation and conspiracy theories 🤔
Posted on July 10, 2018 12:57 AM.
Today, YouTube announced a $25 million initiative to support the future of news on their platform. After waves of disinformation and conspiracy theories around topics from the Moon landing to the Parkland shooting, YouTube is adding “authoritative” context to search results.
The VergeAdi Robertson
YouTube is implementing a change it announced in March, annotating conspiracy-related pages with text from “trusted sources like Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica.” And in the hours after a major news event, YouTube will supplement search results with links to news articles, reasoning that rigorous outlets often publish text before producing video.
The most obvious change being made to YouTube is the addition of a both a "Top News" and "Breaking News" scrolling shelf, that will begin appearing above all search results. The company has been testing these features for the past few months, and they will now roll out to all users.
YouTube will determine authoritative sources by looking at the number of citations, and usings Google's PageRank algorithm, ...
... protecting against the risk of popular videos seeming the most credible.
YouTube is also looking at ways to make it easier for people to access local news outlets, ...
... [and] has begun testing features to surface local news in the YouTube app for TVs across 25 markets in the U.S., including cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Charlotte, Sacramento, and many others.
As with Google's larger news strategy, YouTube is responding to allegations that, it doesn't do enough to thwart conspiracy peddlers and ensure that the news you see is trustworthy. If it succeeds, it could both make YouTube a go-to news source and fend off allegations that it's prone to manipulation by hostile actors. Just remember that it's a big "if" -- the company has an imperfect track record of addressing fake stories.
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.
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