News, Culture & Society

YouTube adds ‘information panels’ from fact checkers to videos in the US to prevent misinformation

YouTube adds fact-check ‘information panels’ to search results in the US in an effort to prevent the spread of misinformation amid coronavirus pandemic

  • The panels will contain articles from third-party fact checkers
  • They will show up in video searches to help debunk misinformation
  • Among the topics affected will be COVID-19 related videos
  • YouTube will slowly roll the panels out to videos being watched in the US 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

YouTube is adding informational sidebars from third-party fact-checkers in an effort help crack down on misinformation about COVID-19 and other sensitive topics.  

The sidebars or ‘panels’ will appear next to YouTube video searches on topics that have been vetted by fact-checkers and will show relevant articles on the topic searched by a user.  

The information panels, as the company calls them, were launched in Brazil and India last year, and will apply to specific topics like searches that contain ‘covid and ibuprofen.’ 

YouTube will attempt to mitigate the spread of misinformation about novel coronavirus, COVID-19 by adding ‘information panels’ that fact check certain topics

‘When users are searching on YouTube around a specific claim, we want to give an opportunity for those fact checks to show up right then and there, when our users are looking for information — especially around fast-moving quickly changing topics like COVID-19,’ Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer told The Verge. 

‘But of course fact checking will apply more broadly now that it’s launching here in the US.’

YouTube says that it’s network of fact-checkers include, The Washington Post Fact Checkers, PolitiFact, and others more than a dozen others.

As reported by The Verge, YouTube’s panels will employ Google’s machine-learning algorithms to understand language entered into posts.

That means that while broad searches like ‘coronavirus’ may not trigger a fact-checking panel more specific searches like, ‘did 5G create COVID-19’ would be encompassed.

Social media sites including Facebook and are under pressure to combat misinformation relating to the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus, from false cures to conspiracy theories.

YouTube has rolled out other initiatives to help prevent coronavirus misinformation, including adding a row of 'verified' videos to its home page (stock)

YouTube has rolled out other initiatives to help prevent coronavirus misinformation, including adding a row of ‘verified’ videos to its home page (stock)

As a result of those efforts, YouTube also created a section for displaying trustworthy videos about coronavirus on its homepage last month.

A new row of ‘verified’ videos has been added to YouTube’s home page in an effort to prevent the flow of misinformation, especially as news develops around the ongoing pandemic.

The verified row is displayed on YouTube’s home page and aggregates content from news outlets and official health sources on the platform.