YouTube is bringing transparency and context for news content in India

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YouTube has witnessed a tremendous rise in viewership in India due to the rise in mobile internet users and low-cost data availability in the country. According to the video broadcasting platform, “watch-time of India’s authoritative news sources has more than tripled over the past two years.” YouTube is introducing a few updates and features in order to cater to the growing audience.

Easy access to authoritative sources

Users prefer to take the news from an authoritative source in order for them to be able to rely on the information. YouTube claims to have been developing new features that will make such authoritative sources of information appear on the platform more often. With the new feature, a top News shelf will highlight videos from authoritative news sources in the search results. The regular search results would appear under the shelf. YouTube is also adding a Breaking News shelf on the homepage that will list current global and local events.

Fact checking

Fake news and misinformation are a persisting issue in India and major tech companies have already announced tools to fight the circulation of fake news on their platforms. YouTube, too, has introduced fact checking panels by eligible publishers from India. The feature is limited to English and Hindi currently. In order to establish the credibility of the news, Google follows the open source Schema.org ClaimReview markup process. From now on, YouTube will also be listing fact-checking articles from eligible publishers.

Information panels

The new information panel introduced by YouTube will appear on the watch page of all the videos on channels. The panel will be constituted of information about the channel’s owner, for instance, if the channel is funded by the government or not. The panel will also include a Wikipedia page link that will allow users to get more information about the publisher. This will give the viewers more transparency on the sources of the news.

Besides rolling out such features to help its viewers, YouTube is also taking measures to support the news industry. The company has already invested $25 million and there is a broader $300 million investment done by Google news initiative. Last year in December, YouTube announced that 87 news projects from 23 countries were funded to produce better and newer video formats. 10 of these projects were from India.

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