YouTube Takes Steps Against "Fake News"

YouTube, being one of the world’s leading platforms to make, upload and share videos, now taking steps to filter out the conspiracy-prone theories from its users. The feature of “authoritative” context to search about topics like Oklahoma City bombing and Moon Landing, also, a putting $25 million towards the news outlets that produce the videos. Google news initiative, a program launched in March, introduced this new step which is mainly focused on reducing the amount of misinformation spreading on YouTube and the conspiracy theories that bloomed after events such as the Parkland shooting.

The update includes the latest features of breaking news updates as well as well established conspiracy theories. The change that was announced in March is being implemented now that elucidates the conspiracy-prone pages with text from “trusted sources like Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica.” And within hours after an event, YouTube will attach a link to the news articles with the search results, with a reason that the outlets mostly publish text before they produce the video. “It’s very easy to quickly produce and upload low-quality videos spreading misinformation around a developing news event,” in the words of YouTube chief product officer Neal Mohan, but it’s a difficult task to produce an authoritative video while the story develops.

YouTube is establishing a group that will work towards the goal of providing an input on how the news in handled and its giving money for “sustainable” video operations throughout the world in around 20 markets. It has invested money previously in the programs for digital literacy for teenagers, and to promote the cause, it’s recruiting major YouTube creators.

Is this approach effective? It's difficult to presume. While YouTube is supplementing links to text articles to stop the spread of misinformation, Google Search has links to dubious sites such as 4chan, in its Top Stories module even. Not exactly same as the deliberate false news providers, this unintentional mixup makes Google’s claim to “provide the authoritative news only” slightly doubtful. The Wikimedia Foundation was unsure about YouTube having links to the Wikipedia articles as well because it’ll increase the load on Wikipedia’s volunteer community.

Although its fairly difficult to change the minds of the people with mere links to a Wikipedia or any mainstream media article, as they are already too invested in the conspiracy theories, but this initiative will aid in preventing new people from getting involved in the theories anew. Wired Magazine reports that YouTube might short-circuit a process that its algorithms recommend more fringe videos based on the consumer’s viewing history.

YouTube is upholding its responsibility by trying to combat the conspiracies and false propaganda by developing the latest automated systems, their effectiveness though has still no a definite answer.

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