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YouTube expands fact-check panels in move against misinformation

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YouTube's headquarters in San Bruno, California
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Apr 28, 2020 - 11:15 PM

San Francisco, United States | AFP |  –  YouTube on Tuesday began adding fact-check panels to search results in the US for videos on hot-topic claims shown to be bogus.

The Google-owned video streaming service said it is expanding to the US a fact-check information panel feature launched last year in Brazil and India.

Fact-check information panels highlight credible findings by third-parties so YouTube viewers can make informed decisions about claims, according to the company.

“Over the past several years, we’ve seen more and more people coming to YouTube for news and information,” the service said.

“The outbreak of COVID-19 and its spread around the world has reaffirmed how important it is for viewers to get accurate information during fast-moving events.”

YouTube described the fact-check feature as part of ongoing efforts to raise the profile of authoritative sources while reducing the spread of misinformation.

Two years ago, YouTube began testing panels providing vetted sources of information on topics prone to bogus assertions such as the world being flat.

“We’re now using these panels to help address an additional challenge: Misinformation that comes up quickly as part of a fast-moving news cycle, where unfounded claims and uncertainty about facts are common,” YouTube said.

Fact-check panels will be shown at YouTube when people search on specific claims found to be false, such as COVID-19 being a bioweapon, according to the company.

YouTube said that more than a dozen US organizations including FactCheck.org and PolitiFact were partners in the effort.

It will take time for the feature to fully ramp up at YouTube, which planned to expand it to more countries as the accuracy of the system improved.

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