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YouTube tweaks its COVID-19 fact-check 'panel' to add vaccine info too

The box, which shows up under some videos and at the top of some search results, links out to local health authorities like the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

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YouTube gets more than 2 billion visitors a month. 

Angela Lang/CNET

YouTube is adding a second link, ushering users to authoritative info on COVID-19 vaccines, to its fact-check "panels," boxes that show up below some videos about COVID or the novel coronavirus and pop up above search results for some queries about the same matters on Google's massive video site. Both links in the panel direct users to information from local health authorities, like the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization. 

The additional link is already showing up in searches and under videos in the US, and the change should roll out globally over the next couple of days, according to the company. 

Searches on YouTube on Tuesday for the simple terms "coronavirus" and "COVID" triggered the info panel to show up, displaying both of the links. But searches for more-general terms like "vaccine" or racist phrases like "kung flu" didn't trigger the panel above search results. 

YouTube's platform has long been criticized for proliferating conspiracy theories and misinformation. The fact-check information panels are one of the tools YouTube has introduced in the last two years aimed at counteracting false info there, in addition to reducing recommendations on borderline videos and removing some posts and channels altogether. 

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