YouTube is perhaps the world’s foremost repository of baseless conspiracy theories, and now the company is finally doing something to debunk the BS.
The firm is adding ‘Fact Check’ information panels within the search results for certain sensitive topics that are “prone to misinformation.” Videos for those topics will still appear and will remain visible, but will come with disclaimers provided by verified third-party news sources, who are Google’s partners in this venture.
So, if there’s an authoritative article providing context on conspiracy theories about paracetamol tablets – as seen in the screenshot below – an article may appear at the top of the the search results as people look to do homework on the subject.
The company will make a few additions to its code in order to crawl the web for articles offering clarify on these subjects. Once that article is verified, it will appear within those search results.
The feature is currently being tested in India, Google confirmed to Buzzfeed. However, if it proves successful, we can expect this to appear on the vast array of content from people promoting those ‘the Earth is flat’ and ‘9/11 was an inside job’ conspiracy theories.
“As part of our ongoing efforts to build a better news experience on YouTube, we are expanding our information panels to bring fact checks from eligible publishers to YouTube,” a YouTube spokesperson Engadget. “We are launching this feature in India and plan to roll this out in more countries as time goes on.”
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While it’s unlikely to lead to a slowdown of videos being added to the site, it might provid a little context for those interested in conspiracy theories, before they disappear too far down the rabbit hole never to be considered sane again.
Is Google doing enough to guard against the spread of misinformation on YouTube? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.