YouTube to invest $25 mn to boost 'trusted' news sources


The company did not specify which news sources it would consider authoritative.

The features that YouTube is working on are also meant to combat fake news that's become rampant on various online platforms in the recent years.

The decision comes ahead of the 2018 USA midterm elections, a time when other social media sites are under scrutiny for potentially impacting political outcomes fueled by false information.

YouTube is introducing the feature to the USA in the coming weeks.

Neal Mohan, chief product officer at YouTube, said: "By putting that front and centre, that's one of the biggest things we can do to ensure users are getting access to high-quality information".

At such times, YouTube will show users a short text preview of a news article in search results.

The announcement forms part of the Google News Initiative, which saw the company pledge $300 million to support trusted news sources in March of this year, $25 million of which will now be assigned to "support the future of news" on YouTube. YouTube said it is working with Google News Initiative to support journalists and publishers.

YouTube will establish a working group with reputable news organisations to improve its news experience, including Vox Media and India Today.

"It's very easy to quickly produce and upload low-quality videos spreading misinformation around a developing news event", Mohan said.

In addition, it will create new features in the boost the distribution of local news.

YouTube has announced details of its plan to fight the misinformation and bogus videos that are sometimes uploaded to its platform in the wake of breaking news, as well as highlight "authoritative" news sources.

From today (10 July), new Top News and Breaking News shelves will appear on the YouTube homepage in 17 countries including Ireland, the USA, the UK, France, Italy, Japan, India, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria and more. YouTube expects to double the number of countries where those features are available in the next few months.

The platform is also supporting MediaWise, a non-profit led by the Poynter Institute to help teens develop media and online awareness, and working with six YouTube Creators popular with young audiences, including John Green, Ingrid Nilsen and Mark Watson "to bring awareness to digital literacy and help educate teens".