YouTube aims to crack down on fake news and make ‘authoritative’ sources prominent AP
NEW YORK – Google’s YouTube says it is taking several steps to ensure the veracity of news on its service by cracking down on misinformation and supporting news organizations.
The company said Monday it will make “authoritative” news sources more prominent, especially in the wake of breaking news events when false information can spread quickly.
At such times, YouTube will show users a short text preview of a news article in search results. This is aimed at countering the quick and often fake videos that can proliferate immediately after shootings, natural disasters and other major happenings.
Company executives announced the effort at YouTube’s New York offices.
Facebook uses newspaper ads to warn WhatsApp users about fake news
The devastating consequences of fake news are apparent around the world, but in recent times India has felt them most keenly, with the spread of misinformation resulting in the deaths of 12 people in the last two months. WhatsApp, and its parent company Facebook, have taken a number of measures to stem the tide of fake news, from making short films to handing out grants to support research into the issue – now they’re appealing directly to their users.
This week, Facebook has taken out full-page adverts in a number of Indian newspapers imploring WhatsApp users to think carefully about the messages they receive, and offering 10 tips for spotting fake news. The advert encourages users to “question information that upsets you” and to “think twice before sharing it again.”
The advert also reveals Facebook’s plans to roll out a new feature that tells users whether a message they receive has been forwarded on from someone else. This follows testing back in January that displayed a notification if a message had been forwarded multiple times. “Double check the facts when you’re not sure who wrote the original message,” the accompanying text reads.
The most recent advert’s overarching message – like much of Facebook’s efforts in tackling fake news – essentially puts responsibility on the user to double-check sources. Of course, the very fact that Facebook is relying on old-school mediums such as print advertising to teach its users about its platform suggests “helpful tips” such as “just because a message is shared many times, does not make it true,” are trite and ineffectual. Many would argue the company needs to be doing far more than simply preaching the virtues of critical thinking through quasi-educational announcements in what is essentially a dying medium.