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YouTube adds fact checker ‘information panels’ to videos in the United States to prevent misinformation

YouTube adds fact-check ‘information panels’ to US search results to prevent the spread of misinformation during a corona virus pandemic

  • The panels will contain articles from third-party fact checkers
  • They are displayed in video searches to disprove disinformation
  • The affected topics include COVID-19 related videos
  • YouTube slowly rolls out the panels to videos viewed in the US
  • Here’s how you can help people affected by Covid-19

YouTube is adding informative sidebars from third-party fact checkers in an effort to combat misinformation about COVID-19 and other sensitive topics.

The sidebars or ‘panels’ appear next to YouTube video searches on topics vetted by fact checkers and show relevant articles on the topic searched by a user.

The information panels, as the company calls them, were launched in Brazil and India last year and will cover specific topics such as searches that include ‘covid and ibuprofen’.

YouTube tries to reduce the spread of misinformation about the new coronavirus, COVID-19, by adding 'information panels' that monitor certain topics

YouTube tries to reduce the spread of misinformation about the new coronavirus, COVID-19, by adding ‘information panels’ that monitor certain topics

“When users search YouTube for a specific claim, we want to provide the ability to have those fact checks appear when our users are looking for information – especially around fast-moving, fast-changing topics like COVID-19,” said Neal Mohan, the Chief Product Officer from YouTube, to The Verge.

“But fact-checking will of course apply more widely as it launches here in the US.”

YouTube says the network of fact checkers FactCheck.org, The Washington Post Fact Checkers, PolitiFact and others are more than a dozen others.

As reported by The Verge, YouTube’s panels will use Google’s machine-learning algorithms to understand the language entered in posts.

That means that while broad searches like ‘coronavirus’ may not bring up a fact control panel, more specific searches like ‘would have made 5G COVID-19’ would be included.

Social media sites, including Facebook, are under pressure to fight disinformation about the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus, from false healings to conspiracy theories.

YouTube has launched other initiatives to prevent misinformation about the coronavirus, including adding a row of “verified” videos to the homepage (stock)

As a result of those efforts, YouTube also created a section last month for displaying reliable videos about coronavirus on its homepage.

A new row of “verified” videos has been added to the YouTube homepage in an effort to prevent the flow of misinformation, especially as news continues to unfold around the ongoing pandemic.

The verified row is displayed on the YouTube homepage and collects content from news broadcasts and official health sources on the platform.