YouTube spends $25 million to fight fake news

Your favorite YouTubers may be stepping in to give you a crash course on spotting it.

Kaitlin Benz Editorial Summer Intern 2018 / News
2 min read

Seventeen countries already have access to "Top News" and "Breaking News" features on YouTube, but the company says it hopes to double that soon.

Screenshot by CNET

YouTube on Monday announced a $25 million commitment to fighting fake news on its platform, part of the $300 million Google News Initiative launched in March.

YouTube will show previews and links to news articles and their sources in its search results, along with a reminder that facts and details can change in developing stories. Starting Monday, some videos will also include text from outside sources such as Wikipedia and Encyclopaedia Britannica to make it easier for viewers to reach their their own conclusions.

"We know there is a lot of work to do, but 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," YouTube said in a statement on its official blog.

YouTube will also be enlisting the help of some of the platform's popular creators to educate consumers -- specifically kids -- about fake news. John GreenIngrid Nilsen and Mark Watson will work with MediaWise to educate teenagers about digital media literacy.

Google, which owns YouTube, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

YouTube has been facing backlash for more than a year related to hateful and inappropriate videos as well as fake news on its site. In November, the company deleted 150,000 videos that attracted sexually inappropriate comments aimed at children. When the YouTube Kids app reportedly showed violent videos, the company created new guidelines to protect kids from disturbing content. YouTube also banned videos showing how to make guns in March.

The company also will make it easier for people to find news with "Top News" and "Breaking News" features that highlight videos from news organizations. These features are already in 17 countries including the US, UK, France, Nigeria and Italy. The company says it will double the number of countries that can access these features soon.

It's also testing features that will surface local news on the YouTube television app. 

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