YouTube and combatting misinformation, disinformation


TO curb the spread of misinformation on the internet, YouTube has joined other platforms such as Google and Facebook to collaborate with fact-checkers using information panels.

These panels, launched in Brazil and India in 2019, inform the public if claims related to searches are true, false, or  “partly true,” according to the publisher’s fact-check verdict.

Although information panels are only available in a limited number of countries and languages, YouTube says it is working to it to more countries.

A few years after it launched the information panel, a consortium of fact-checkers worldwide has come out to demand more effective action against misinformation from the video hosting platform.

In an Open letter, the fact-checkers noted that conspiracy groups are thriving and collaborating across borders, including an international movement that started in Germany, jumped to Spain and spread through Latin America, all on YouTube.

They also pointed out how the platform has been used to amplify hate speech against vulnerable groups, reaching tens of thousands of users. This is in addition to it being a fertile ground for election disinformation.

The Fact-checkers proposed solutions which include: a commitment to meaningful transparency about disinformation on the platform;  providing context and offering debunks, clearly superimposed on videos or as additional video content; Acting against repeat offenders that produce content that is constantly flagged as disinformation and misinformation, Extending current and future efforts against disinformation and misinformation in languages different from English and so on.

How the Information panel work

Authoritative publishers and publishers who are verified signatories of the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles are eligible to have their fact-checks published by YouTube.

The fact-checks will be displayed on the information panel marked as an “independent fact-check” with:

  • The name of the publisher doing the fact-check
  • The claim being fact-checked
  • A snippet of the publisher’s fact-check finding
  • A link to the publisher’s article to learn more
  • Info about the publication date of the fact check article

Fact checks shown in information panels will not be endorsed or created by YouTube.

However, YouTube allows the public to send feedback on fact check that violates its community guidelines.

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