YouTube India wants to add transparency and context to news content. Considering the watch-time of India’s "authoritative news sources" has more than tripled over the past two years, YouTube wants to ensure that further growth is driven more "responsibly" by supporting genuine news publishers.
YouTube India has rolled out three new features for news videos on its platform - Top News, Breaking News, and Fact-Checker labels.
Top News will give prominence to videos from, what YouTube calls, "authoritative news sources" in search results. Breaking News is for videos related to an important news break or event. These videos created by trusted news sources will be highlighted by YouTube on its homepage.
Both features are available in English and Hindi. Incidentally, Top News and Breaking News are also available across 30 other countries in the world.
The third feature has to do with fake news and misinformation campaigns that have defined India's internet landscape of late. YouTube is bringing Fact-Checker labels from "eligible publishers" that will be displayed in information panels alongside news videos. This integration too is available in Hindi and English.
So, if a channel is owned by the government, for instance, an information panel will surface next to the video indicating that the publisher is “funded in whole or in part" or a “public broadcast service” with a link to the publisher's Wikipedia page.
Tim Katz, Director, Head of News Partnerships, YouTube, explained:
This specific information panel aims to provide context on fresh topics that are prone to misinformation. The fact checks we surface rely on the open source Schema.org ClaimReview markup process. By following this process, any eligible publisher can contribute fact check articles that could show in search results on Google Search, Google News, and now, YouTube.
These measures are YouTube's attempts to offer its users more context to the news they consume such that they can have informed opinions, the company stated. YouTube is one of the most popular video platforms in India with an estimated 265 million monthly active users.
At large, YouTube is committed to the cause of credible news. It has pledged $25 million to the news industry as a part of a $300 million investment by the Google News Initiative. Last December, YouTube announced that it would be funding 87 news projects from 23 countries and encourage new video formats in journalism.
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