YouTube addresses fake news videos through $25 million fund and other initiatives

The spread of fake news has become a leading issue for many social media and video platforms. Facebook and Twitter have already stepped up and launched technologies to minimise fake news from being spread. Now, YouTube has joined them and announced the first steps to contain fake new videos across the platform.

As part of the Google News Initiative, YouTube will spend $25 million to support legitimate publishers and boost their content. At the same time, it has launched a working group together with news organisations and experts globally to address fake news on YouTube and improve the overall experience. Vox Media, Jovern Pan and India Today are among its partners.

“We remain committed to working with the journalism community to build a more sustainable video ecosystem for news organisations,” explained Neal Mohan, chief product officer at YouTube. “We know there is a lot of work to do, but we’re eager to provide a better experience to users who come to YouTube every day to learn more about what is happening in the world from a diversity of sources.”

The funding is being distributed across 20 markets worldwide to support more sustainable video operation efforts among news organisations. The latter will be able to use the funds to train staff in best practices, enhance production facilities and develop optimised formats for online video.

The initiative also aims to boost availability of reliable sources by offering more context and information on them.

YouTube said it wants to add short previews of news videos in search results during times of major events that include further links to articles.

Both the ‘Top News” and “Breaking News” sections on the platform will highlight only quality and reliable news sources.

At the same time, the company plans to boost local news through its YouTube for TV app. To begin with, it has partnered with 25 media markets in the US. Content will include third party context from publishers like Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica.

Additionally, YouTube is partnering with the Poytner Institute, Stanford University, the Local Media Association and the National Association for Media Literacy Education to offer support for MediaWise. The MediaWise initiative plans to boost digital literacy skills among one million teens.