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YouTube announced new measures today to stem the spread of conspiracy theory videos and fake news on its platform, including inserting context from trustworthy sources into search results about hot topics. In a blog post, YouTube also said it is working with the Google News Initiative, which was launched by its parent company earlier this year to support journalists and publishers.
This includes earmarking $25 million in Google News Initiative funding to create a working group of news organizations and media experts that will advise YouTube on new features. Members already include Vox Media, Brazilian radio station Jovem Pan and India Today, with more to be added in the coming weeks. Part of the funding will also be used for grants that will be awarded to news organizations through an application process to help them train staff and build their video production capabilities. The money will also be used on expanding the YouTube team that works with news publishers.
YouTube - Proliferation - Conspiracy - Theories - Topics
YouTube has been blamed for the proliferation of conspiracy theories about historical topics including the moon landing and news events like the 2016 presidential election and Sandy Hook and Parkland, Florida school shootings, with its search and recommendation algorithms cited in particular for pushing problematic videos to more viewers. In March, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki promised new features to make YouTube a more reliable source of information during a South by Southwest panel, stating that “this has been a year of fake news and misinformation and we have seen the importance of delivering information to our users accurately.”
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