The Jakarta Post
YouTube did not specify which news sources it would consider authoritative. (Shutterstock.com/Your Design)
Video streaming service YouTube has announced plans to highlight what it calls “authoritative” news sources in a bid to counter misinformation spread through the platform.
YouTube has had issues with misinformation going viral quickly, especially in the wake of events like shootings or natural disasters. For example, conspiracy theories regarding the Las Vegas shooting -- such as the idea that the 59 people killed were fake, acted out by “crisis actors” -- are displayed prominently when searching for news about the event.
To fight this, the Google-owned company will be showing users text summaries of news stories when they search for videos, as well as warnings that the stories can change. They explained that text would be most reliable, as it could be updated quickly, and “authoritative” sources needed time to verify clips.
The company did not specify which news sources it would consider authoritative. Neal Mohan, chief product officer, said the company wasn’t going to be compiling a simple list of trusted news outlets, and he admitted that the definition of authoritative was “fluid”. He added that the list would not simply be made up of sources that were popular on YouTube, The Guardian reported.
Mohan also explained that 10,000 human reviewers at Google would be monitoring these situations and would be the ones to determine which sources are used.
Alexios Mantzarlis, a Poynter Institute faculty member who helped Facebook team up with fact-checkers, described these moves as “cautiously a good step forward”.
Still, Mantzarlis believes it would be best if Google used people over algorithms to vet fake news entirely. “Facebook was reluctant to go down that path two and a half years ago, and then they did,” he said. (sul/kes)