Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

YouTube invests $25 million on improving news

YouTube to highlight stories from reputable news sources when news breaks YouTube is fighting fake news with $25M to promote journalism and more context in search results
Jeannette Daniel | 10 July, 2018, 18:54

Announced in the latest entry of Google's YouTube blog, the video streaming platform will engage in a host of new initiatives, and introduce several new features, that aim to promote and fund legitimate journalism and news sources.

Many people want, value, and trust local news.

To combat conspiracy theories, YouTube will start displaying information from third-party sources like Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica next to videos about "well-established historical and scientific topics that have often been subject to misinformation", including the Oklahoma City bombing and the moon landing.

Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan said the company isn't just compiling a simple list of trusted news outlets, noted that the definition of authoritative is "fluid" and then added the caveat that it won't simply boil down to sources that are popular on YouTube.

To help with this contextualization, YouTube will also be teaming up with a variety of organizations that are dedicated to digital literacy education, particularly with MediaWise, which aims to help a million United States teens discern legitimate sources from fake news. Search results will also include linked previews of news articles, since journalists usually write about breaking news first before producing more labor-intensive videos, and reminders that information about developing events can change quickly.

More news: Pride chiefs slam anti-trans protestors who 'hijacked' London march

Company executives announced the effort at YouTube's NY offices.

Alexios Mantzarlis, a Poynter Institute faculty member who helped Facebook team up with fact-checkers (including The Associated Press), said the text story snippet at the top of search results was 'cautiously a good step forward'.

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. These tests are being run in 25 markets across the USA and Google says that local news has gotten "strong engagement" so far. "Authoritativeness is essential to viewers, especially during fast-moving, breaking news events, so we've been investing in new product features ..."

The platform is rolling out Top News and Breaking News pages, too, which highlight videos from global publishers about news events. 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. These sections now appear in 17 countries, including the U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Japan, India, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, and Nigeria, and Google aims to double that number in the coming months.

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