Commexis Cast – July 11, 2018: YouTube Puts $25 Million Towards Fake News Fight

Today’s Commexis Cast discussed YouTube’s latest initiative against conspiratorial and “fake news” content on the platform that comes with a hefty $25 million dollar price tag.

John Glenday on The Drum explains that the initiative involves a push to have YouTube viewed as a more “authoritative” news source. You may remember the myriad of past controversies involving conspiracy content on the YouTube kids app, as well as their inclusion of Wikipedia excerpts beneath those videos on the normal site and app (without informing Wikipedia of this decision).

YouTube will be more thoroughly verifying content it considers to be “authoritative”, but will not be removing content deemed conspiratorial. Glenday reports that Neal Mohan, chief product officer at YouTube, said, “By putting that front and centre, that’s one of the biggest things we can do to ensure users are getting access to high-quality information.” YouTube says it wants its users to make their own decisions, though it certainly has removed video content in the past that it deemed inappropriate.

While Phillip and I are hesitant to praise YouTube for this initiative before we hear any plans on how this will be executed, the video hosting platform did include other policy shifts that we feel may be more useful. For example, the platform will offer a text feed on breaking news while news outlets work to create suitable video content. The platform will also have an information panel added to it that will display trusted local news sources, as well.

We’ll be keeping an eye on how this YouTube change develops. $25 million is quite a lot of money, and is a sign that YouTube does care about this issue, but whether their solutions will work, or will go the way of Facebook’s previous initiatives on the matter, is yet to be seen.

Today’s cast: Phillip Brooks (Commexis Lead Strategist) and Matthew McGrorty (Commexis Videographer/Podcaster).

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