YouTube is expanding its fact check information panels to search results pages in the United States.
YouTube’s fact check panels first rolled out last year in Brazil and India.
Now, as more people turn to YouTube for accurate news and information, fact check panels are launching in the United States.
“Over the past several years, we’ve seen more and more people coming to YouTube for news and information….
More recently, 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.”
As shown in the example below, the new panels are displayed when a fact checked topic is searched for in YouTube.
The panel appears at the top of the screen, above search results, so users can get the information they need before clicking through to any videos.
While that may no doubt have an impact on video views, it can help prevent users from being exposed to false, and potentially harmful, information.
As you can see, the panel lists the following pieces of information:
- Who conducted the fact check
- When the fact check was conducted
- A link to the fact check results
- The claim that was fact checked
- Whether the claim was found to be true or false
That should be all the information a user needs to make an educated decision about whether to proceed with watching any videos.
Unfounded claims are especially common in today’s news cycle, with all manner of theories about COVID-19 circulating the web.
YouTube’s goal with these panels is to address the challenge of dealing with misinformation that comes up as part of a fast-moving news cycle.
When Fact Check Panels Will Appear
A number of factors will determine whether fact check panels appear in YouTube’s search results.
The most important factor: there must be a relevant fact check article available from an eligible publisher.
Another factor is that the user’s search query is about a specific claim and not a general topic.
“For example, if someone searches for “did a tornado hit Los Angeles,” they might see a relevant fact check article, but if they search for a more general query like “tornado,” they may not.”
YouTube’s fact check information panels rely on a network of third-party publishers, and leverage the ClaimReview structured data markup.
Over a dozen US publishers are participating in fact checking today, including The Dispatch, FactCheck.org, PolitiFact, and The Washington Post Fact Checker,
YouTube’s Existing Effort to Surface Quality Sources
As the company states in an announcement, fact check panels in search results are an extension of YouTube’s existing efforts to surface information from reputable sources.
“The fact check feature expands upon the other ways we raise and connect people with authoritative sources.
For example, our Breaking News and Top News shelves help our viewers find information from authoritative sources both on their YouTube homepage and when searching for news topics.”
YouTube also points to information panels introduced in 2018 as another example of keeping users informed about unfounded claims.
While not the same as fact check panels, information panels contain links to sources like Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia for topics prone to longstanding misinformation (e.g. “flat earth” theories).
Fact check panels are rolling out to YouTube search results in the US today, with plans to expand to more countries over time.
Source: YouTube Official Blog
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