YouTube will start adding previews and links to news articles in order to combat fake news around events, and will enlist popular stars on the platform to teach kids about how to discern real news from falsehoods.
In addition to linking to articles for breaking news in search results, it will also start adding text from third parties including Wikipedia and Encyclopaedia Britannica on subjects that have had widespread misinformation. Sample topics include the moon landing and the Oklahoma City bombing.
The efforts are part of the $300 million Google News Initiative that was announced in March, intended to help combat fake news on the company’s platforms and give publishers more opportunities to make money. Monday’s announcement explained what YouTube was doing with its $25 million portion of the budget.
With the funds, YouTube is specifically investing in three main areas. It’s creating a working group with news organizations, including Vox Media, Brazil’s Jovem Pan and India Today, and media experts to make product recommendations and improve news on YouTube. The company will provide funding in 20 global markets to help global outlets in building video capabilities. It is also expanding its global support for news organizations.
YouTube will also make updates to its apps and homepage to highlight important news. Its Top News and Breaking News tabs will show videos from “authoritative” news sources, which are outlets YouTube has validated as part of their algorithms and peer reviews. It will also show more local news on its YouTube app for TV.
In addition, the company is tapping popular YouTubers, including Ingrid Nilsen, Mark Watson, John Green, ASAP Science, Destin Sandlin and Alonzo Lerone. to teach teens about fake news. Nilsen, Watson and Green will work with MediaWise, a group focused on providing 1 million teens with digital literary skills, to help younger viewers understand today’s media literacy issues.
For example, Nilsen, who has 3.8 million YouTube subscribers, spoke at the Teen Vogue Summit on June 1 about how to fact-check stories online. Green, whose CrashCourse YouTube channel has 7.1 million subscribers, created a series specifically breaking down issues such as online advertising, media ownership, and media influence and persuasion. Green is also known for writing the young adult books “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Paper Towns,” as well as co-founding social media star conference Vidcon.
Note: CNBC parent company NBCUniversal is an investor in Vox Media.