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YouTube Expands its fact checking Feature to the U.K. to prevent spread of misinformation on the video platform.

YouTube, the American online video sharing platform, became popular instantaneously after its release. It permits its users to upload, watch, appraise and share media. Such media comprises video clips or audio recordings, segments of any television show, music videos (MVs), trailers of movies, documentary films and even live streams. Additionally, it also allows users to add video blogs, educational videos and original videos as well. Moreover, punters can save their liked content to playlists, report and comment on any upload, plus subscribe to channels of their choice. Unregistered users cannot upload on the site. Nevertheless, they have the right to watch registered videos. Some age-restricted videos are also available and can only be viewed by those at least 18 years old.
Videos of several types and content can be uploaded to YouTube while adhering to certain restrictions. As such, over the years, people have uploaded audio-visuals of different premises. This liberty to upload whatever subject matter gave people the freedom of posting their thoughts and perspectives without constraint. Consequently rose conspiracy theories from such ideologies. Therefore, the authorities of Google-owned YouTube felt it necessary to introduce their new feature of ‘fact-checker’. The facet, already familiarised in the U.S., Brazil and India, will be made available in the U.K. very soon.

New Feature: YouTube Fact Checker

YouTube will begin presenting its users in the U.K. a new feature of fact-checking panels on specific searches of particular content. The primary purpose is to confront the rising problem of the spread of misinformation in Europian countries. It will commence displaying links and information from a third-party source. The feature will clarify queries related to the truth of politics or the COVID-19 virus, topics like the 5G network and the vaccinations. It will also resolve long-existing conspiracies like those on anti-vaccination and concepts of flat Earth. The feature will be dependent on British and German organizations to deliver accurate information. It will solicit the help of BBC and Full Fact in the U.K.

Need For Introduction: YouTube Fact Checker

The primary reason for introducing this fact-check information panel feature is to curb the unchecked spread of false information on the video platform. Before its release in the U.S., platforms like YouTube were under severe criticism from users. Thie reason was owing to the spread of fabricated claims on topics of origin of the pandemic, or similar hypotheses. Furthermore, the circulation of false accusations relating to the anti-vaccine declarations prompted authorities to go forward with their decision. Moreover, earlier this year, YouTube fell under harsh condemnation for apparently allowing ads that promote fake Covid-19 treatments on the platform. Lack of action by YouTube led to allegations that this was a method for the medium of making money, despite promising only registered content.
The managing director for YouTube U.K., Ben McOwen Wilson, stated the expansion of the new feature was necessary. The authorities undertook the decision “to raise authoritative sources, to provide relevant and authoritative context, and to continue to reduce the spread of harmful misinformation.” The paramount product officer of YouTube, Neal Mohan, feels it is necessary to provide an opportunity of fact-checks to users for the relevant searches made.

Function: YouTube Fact Checker

  • Information Panels’ that are region-specific, alert users when they use search terms that might be ‘prone to misinformation’.
  • The service then informs the users, which is verified by a third-party fact-checker, of possible controversies within their search results through direct terms like ‘hoax alert’ and ‘fake’.
  • The system will direct all misinformation to authoritative sources such as the Encyclopedia Britannica, the NHS or the World Health Organization.
  • Such deceptive panels will start appearing over the coming days in the U.K. search results as a countermeasure.

Working: YouTube Fact Checker

  • Fact check articles will appear once the users enter a non-vague search term. Such a situation will occur only when there is a pre-existing fact check article from an eligible publisher,
  • Fact check panels would appear above relevant search results with the heading: ‘Independent fact check’. These panels will offer ‘more context’ and links to trustable information sources relating to the search.
  • The information in the directed sources will contain fact checks from reputable organizations like BBC Reality Check, Full FactFerret Fact Service and FactCheckNI. A snippet of the publisher’s fact check finding, information relating to the publication date as well as a link to the publisher’s article to learn more will accompany the fact check.
  • If there exist fact checks from numerous publishers on the search, users can access all search results.
  • In some instances, fact checks may not be available if a publisher has not uploaded the pre-existing article.

The increasing spread of false information using social media made it vital to devise methods to curtail such acts. The Financial Market, primarily, is a sector based on sentiment-analysis. Even the smallest distribution of any faux can severely hamper its working. As such, this step by YouTube will set the stage for a necessary change.

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