YouTube introduces greater transparency around news providers
James R | On 03, Feb 2018
YouTube is taking steps to improve transparency around news providers on its site. “Fake news” is a phrase adopted by the White House to deflect criticism and control the flow of information and narrative from the US administration, but it’s also a very real phenomenon in the online age, as users are more willing to accept purported news from unreliable or misleading sources – or, in some countries, censored news from government-affiliated broadcasters.
As the biggest video community on the web, YouTube is promising to take steps to help make news more transparent. Last year, YouTube took steps to better surface authoritative news content. It added a “Breaking News” shelf on the home page to prominently surface news after a major event and a “Top News” shelf in YouTube search results to highlight news from reliable sources for news-related queries. Now, it’s rolling out notices below videos uploaded by news broadcasters that receive some level of government or public funding.
“News is an important and growing vertical for us and we want to be sure to get it right, helping to grow news and support news publishers on YouTube in a responsible way,” wrote Geoff Samek, Senior Product Manager YouTube News, in a blog post.
“Our goal is to equip users with additional information to help them better understand the sources of news content that they choose to watch on YouTube.”
The notice will appear below the video, but above the video’s title, and include a link to Wikipedia so viewers can learn more about the news broadcaster. The feature is being restricted to viewers in the US for now, as an early test run. Users and publishers can give feedback through the “send feedback” form on the site, as the feature is improved and expanded over time.