YouTube to fight conspiracy theory videos by showing users Wikipedia links

Google wants you to turn to You Tube for breaking news

YouTube's role in promoting conspiracy theories has flared up in recent months.

The grants "will enable our partners to build key capabilities, train staff on video best practices, enhance production facilities and develop formats optimized for online video", YouTube said in a statement late Monday.

These cards will display information from third-parties, including Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica, about certain historical and scientific topics that have been subject to misinformation and conspiracy theories-think events like the Moon landing or the Oklahoma City bombing. "That's why in the coming weeks in the United States we will start providing a short preview of news articles in search results on YouTube that link to the full article during the initial hours of a major news event, along with a reminder that breaking and developing news can rapidly change".

Now YouTube says it's taking action against this kind of exploitation of breaking news situations.

"We believe quality journalism requires sustainable revenue streams and that we have a responsibility to support innovation in products and funding for news", the company's chief product officer and chief business officer, Neal Mohan and Robert Kyncl respectively, said in a statement.

Alexios Mantzarlis, a Poynter Institute faculty member who helped Facebook team up with fact-checkers (including The Associated Press), said the text story snippet at the top of search results was 'cautiously a good step forward'.

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In addition, it will create new features in the U.S.to boost the distribution of local news. "So far, local news has seen strong engagement, and we will be expanding it to dozens more markets like Cincinnati, Las Vegas and Kansas City", the YouTube execs wrote.

The Breaking News "shelf" on the YouTube home page will show video from news sources about an event that has just occurred (check out the image at the top of this article).

Not long after that, YouTube will turn its attention at directing users towards video reports - again from "quality news sources".

The YouTube effort comes as Google and Facebook - companies that drew heavy criticism following the 2016 USA election for failing to prevent the propagation of false news - have been taking a series of steps to promote verifiable journalism. The Top News and Breaking News features are already available in 17 countries, including the U.S., the U.K., France, Italy, Japan, India, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and Nigeria.

Mohan said the new features are in effect in 17 countries, including the U.S., and "we're looking to double that number in the coming months".

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