Facebook and Twitter both have gone through huge criticism for promoting fake new before the 2016 presidential election and this led to degraded trust among users. But in addition to the above two giant social media sites, YouTube (owned by the parent company of Google i.e. Alphabet) also faced criticism for adopting algorithms which promoted extremist and conspiracy theories videos.
After such criticism for adopting a different algorithm, now YouTube is pouring $20 million for promoting authoritative news. This report has been received from the Financial Times.
The decision of YouTube to pour in $20 million has been taken just before the 2018 U.S midterm election and when other social media websites are under scrutiny for affecting political outcomes fueled by false information.
This funding is a part of the Google News Initiative (GNI) which was released in March with a motive of “helping journalism thrive in the digital age”. This initiative was focused towards minimizing the number of fake news on the world’s top video sharing platform and giving the publishers, better chances of earning.
Neal Mohan, the chief product officer at YouTube said that “We’re eager to provide a better experience to users who come to YouTube every day to learn more about what is happening in the world from a diversity of sources”
In order to enhance the news production on their platform, the company is building a working group with a global news organization which includes Vox media, Jovem Pan and India Today.
With the new initiative and investment, YouTube is now very much focused on making the authoritative news more available for the users because the company says that authoritative news are very much important for users, especially during a breaking news or a fast-moving event.
Regarding the progress of the new initiative, soon people from the United States will be able to see a short preview of news articles in search results of YouTube. It will link to the full article during the initial hours of a major news event.
YouTube has been blamed for promoting authoritative news in the past months. For example, in the month of February, one of the YouTube videos suggested that one of the survivors of the mass killing in Parkland Fla.., David Hogg was an actor of the gun control advocates and this video soon become the no.1 trending videos. After the incident, YouTube removed the clip from its website, citing violation of its policy on harassment and bullying.
YouTube has also started testing particular features that will distribute the local news through the YouTube app for connected TVs across 25 media markets in the United States.
The YouTube execs wrote that “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”
This was a very necessary step taken by YouTube because by looking at the current scenario of social media sites coming under government scanning, it is always better to take preventive measures rather than being scrutinized by government officials.