Looks like Google-owned YouTube is trying to shrug specks of censure, off its coat – It’s role in spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories! The new initiative by Youtube to promote publishers that are indulged in creating and publishing credible news is a welcome move.
Google has taken up new stratagems to curb the spread of conspiracy theory videos and fake news on its platform. On Monday, Google’s YouTube revealed it’s commitment of putting forth $25 million to boost legitimate news organizations, as a part of the Google News Initiative that pledged $300 million. Additionally, this will support new features intended to flag misinformation and draw attention to authoritative and authentic news sources.
The amount here will be used exclusively to support specialists as well as publishers and at the same time, help them to produce authentic video operations.
YouTube Joins Conspiracy-Inducing Bandwagon!
YouTube has not been in the shade completely!
While Facebook’s data breach scandal took to headlines, YouTube could find solace in its invisibility cloak for a small period of time. However, that was short-lived. YouTube was chided for allowing extremist and misleading information to spread.
YouTube’s active involvement in promoting conspiracy theories has gone up in recent months. To cite such instance, In February, a YouTube video claiming a high-school student survivor of the mass killing in Parkland, David Hogg, was an actor hired by gun-control advocates – Horrendous as it sounds, was the no.1 trending video on YouTube. Although it removed the clip within a few hours, this was a clear violation of its policy which underlines the issue of bullying.
News Organisation Favors Scandalous, Not Quality Content:
Although it is an undeniable truth that YouTube is incredibly successful at engaging users on its platform, its success comes at a cost. YouTube has been criticized innumerable times now for being extremely poor at picking videos which are factual or appropriate.
According to an ex-YouTube insider, the recommendation algorithm which is implemented on YouTube to promote videos has promoted conspiracy videos.
Adding more to the woes, Kids content is not safe either. According to reports by screen media, a channel dubbed as Toyfreaks, which had a whopping 8.53 million subscribers were found to contain disturbing and inappropriate content. Although YouTube took that channel down and apologized for them, the conclusion still remains intact – Inappropriate content is creeping into kid’s channel.
Google, Improving the News Experience Spectrum:
Google is expanding Google News Initiative (GNI) to improve the news experience on YouTube. Apparently, officials stated that it is committing $25 million towards a “YouTube-specific investment”.
It will be funding about 20 global markets, which will further enable news organizations in “building sustainable video operations.” The bill is here to allow organizations produce appropriate content, train staff on video best practice and accentuate production. Furthermore, there will be exclusive expansion in the team, working to support news publishers.
More such announcements were focused around promoting quality news on YouTube. Apparently, one major feature here will start showing short text previews, along with reminders of how breaking news changes fast. So whenever news breaks, it is displayed on the homepage. A new fact-checking box on videos about “well-established historical and scientific topics that have often been subject to misinformation, like the moon landing and the Oklahoma City Bombing,” will be rolled out. Herein, users can view information from third parties, including Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica, alongside videos in that category, in the near future. Again, there’s a growing affinity towards surfacing local news on YouTube app, since it can enable it to gain trust within communities.
Additionally, under the expansion of this initiative, Google will provide training to 8000 journalists in English and six other Indian languages in the upcoming year.