In recent years, YouTube has become more than just a video platform for vloggers, comedians, and makeup artists. It’s also a source for news and information that more and more users are turning to. Unfortunately, with few to no restrictions on who can start an account and who can then upload videos on any topic, a lot of misinformation can be presented.
Thankfully, YouTube is combatting that with a feature they’ve recently expanded to the United States – fact checks. In the time of COVID-19, and an election year, these information panels meant to connect people to real, authoritative sources are more critical than ever.
The feature presents itself as a box atop of search results when a user is looking for particular information. According to an official blog from YouTube, these “provide fresh context… by highlighting relevant, third-party fact-checked articles above search results for relevant queries, so that our viewers can make their own informed decision about claims made in the news.”
For a fact check to appear, there must first be a relevant fact check article available from an eligible publisher, of which there are currently more than a dozen participating. Additionally, a user must be searching for a specific claim. YouTube provided the example of searching for “did a tornado hit Los Angeles,” which may trigger a fact check versus a more general query like “tornado,” which may not.
What do you think of this new feature? Leave us a comment below!
As a company that values ethics over everything, we think this is a good move by the digital media giant to help combat the spread of misinformation that can occur in a fast-moving news cycle.
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