YouTube is said to introduce ‘information panels’ in India to give factually correct information on search results that are ‘prone to misinformation’.
As per the report by BuzzFeed News, these panels, which will be provided by YouTube’s verified fact-checking partners, will not show up on individual videos but on pages of the search results. Nevertheless, the videos that are spreading the misinformation will still be present on the platform. YouTube will generate a disclaimer on videos flagged for inappropriate contents.
India has around 250 million YouTube users and a small fraction of those have received the feature, as of now, for search queries in Hindi and English. YouTube is expected to roll out the feature globally soon, however, there is no information about the specific date that the feature will be made available to everyone.
A spokesperson for YouTube told BuzzFeed News that “As part of our ongoing efforts to build a better news experience on YouTube, we are expanding our information panels to bring fact checks from eligible publishers to YouTube.”
YouTube shared with Buzzfeed what this disclaimer would look like in Hindi and English. For the English version, the search result “Virus in paracetamol” showed a disclaimer with an article from The Quint which stated that “Hoax Alert! Paracetamol does not contain ‘Machupo’ Virus.”
In the Hindi version, the search query for CCTV footage of the Pulawama attack gives a disclaimer of the Syrian bombing being circulated as Pulwama bombings.
As the Indian general elections are drawing closer, social media sites are taking various steps to curb the circulation of fake news and misinformation on their platforms. Facebook also has announced that it will expand its fact-checking in India ahead of the elections.
“We are committed to fighting the spread of false news on Facebook, especially ahead of the 2019 General Election campaign season,” Manish Khanduri, Facebook India’s news partnership head, said in the statement.
Twitter is also taking various steps to ensure smooth processing of the elections in India. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology also asked Twitter to talk to Election Commission officials and ensure “real-time compliance” with the guidelines concerning free and fair elections.
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