YouTube will combat fake news and conspiracy theories by highlighting reputable news sources when big news breaks

Greg Sandoval/Business InsiderA photojournalist stands in front of a police cordon during a 2016 protest in Paris, France

  • YouTube said Monday that it has built a “better news experience” on the Google-owned video site.
  • When major stories occur, YouTube plans to immediately follow up by providing brief previews of news articles in YouTube’s search results that link to the full stories so that users can “find quality” information.
  • YouTube will also highlight videos from trusted news organisations in a new Breaking News feature.
  • This is part of Google’s response to the rash of so-called fake news, or misinformation campaigns, that has plagued countries around the world, including the United States.

YouTube continues to take steps to snuff out fake news and conspiracy theories on the Google-owned video site.

The company on Monday announced that it will change how it responds when major news events occur and begin steering users towards news stories and video reports from “authoritative sources.”

This is part of Google’s broad response to the rise of fake news across the globe in recent years. Misinformation campaigns that sought to exploit the openness of the internet and social networks, including YouTube, are suspected of attempting to sway elections in the United States and elsewhere.

‘Quality news sources’

YouTube’s new news format is due to be rolled out in coming weeks, according to post on the company’s blog, signed by Neal Mohan, the company’s chief product officer, and Robert Kyncl, chief business officer. The managers said that shortly after a news event occurs, YouTube will provide a brief preview of related articles in YouTube’s search results that will link to the full article.

Google noted that they will focus first on text-based stories because print journalists typically are the first to post stories about news events.

Sundar PichaiGreg Sandoval/Business InsiderGoogle CEO Sundar Pichai speaks with reporters at the 2018 I/O conference.

“Authoritativeness is essential to viewers especially during fast-moving, breaking news events,” Mohan and Kyncl wrote. “So, we’ve been investing in new product features to prominently surface authoritative sources.”

Not long after that, YouTube will turn its attention at directing users towards video reports — again from “quality news sources.”

Part of a bigger plan

“When a breaking news event happens, we want users to know about it,” YouTube’s managers wrote. “That’s why our Breaking News shelf highlights videos from news organisations about that event directly on the YouTube homepage.”

Google said in March that it planned to tweak the company’s mighty search algorithms to help filter out fake news. The company also promised to assist news organisations struggling in a time of shrinking profits to try and find new sources of revenue as well as lend them its technological expertise.

Google also promised at the time to spend $US300 million on the effort.

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