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YouTube spends $25 million to fight fake news

10 July 2018

To achieve this, Google will spend $25 million to develop new features that will improve the way YouTube disseminates current events.

In the wake of such incidents, Google and YouTube have since seen the need to take more proactive steps to support news on YouTube as well as educate users about spotting fake news.

These cards will display information from third-parties, including Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica, about certain historical and scientific topics that have been subject to misinformation and conspiracy theories-think events like the Moon landing or the Oklahoma City bombing.

The video platform will also provide funding to news organisations around the world, helping them to build sustainable video operations.

To help with this contextualization, YouTube will also be teaming up with a variety of organizations that are dedicated to digital literacy education, particularly with MediaWise, which aims to help a million U.S. teens discern legitimate sources from fake news.

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Company executives announced the effort at YouTube's NY offices.

Titled "Developing news" it will appear immediately under the search field, above the list of video results.

In the coming weeks, Google will begin showing snippets of news articles in the search results for breaking news events, complete with a link to the full article. These tests are being run in 25 markets across the USA and Google says that local news has gotten "strong engagement" so far.

Neal Mohan, chief product officer at YouTube, said: "The company is establishing a working group with global news organisations, including Vox Media, Jovem Pan and India Today, to improve news production on the platform".

Another part of this initiative will be to better surface local news.

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The service, owned by Google, will heavily promote videos from vetted news sources on the site's Top News and Breaking News sections "to make it easier to find quality news", and create new features - initially only in the U.S. - to help distribute local news.

Mohan said the new features are in effect in 17 countries, including the United States, and "we're looking to double that number in the coming months".

YouTube has already been trying to address this problem with a prominent Top News and Breaking News section that directs users to videos from major publications.

As part of the partnership with MediaWise, six YouTube creators - including John Green, Ingrid Nilsen and Mark Watson - will be creating videos meant to raise awareness about digital literacy and help educate teens about identifying legit sources of news and information.

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YouTube spends $25 million to fight fake news