YouTube has recently made changes to the user interface to include “information panels,” that will help users’ fact check their queries.
In the purview of recent changes introduced by YouTube, the platform is testing ‘information panels’ feature for a limited number of users in India. When users search for sensitive information, the app displays a “fact check” alert that will provide additional information on the search query, from the authentic fact-checking partners of YouTube.
With over 250 million internet users and some of the cheapest data plans in the world, India is a massive market for YouTube. India, in recent years, has witnessed several horrifying crimes like lynching due to the spread of fake news. This new feature will deal another blow to disinformation peddlers on the popular video-sharing site and is aimed to reduce the spread of fake news. This new feature, apart from being available for English search queries is also available for Hindi language queries.
How does this Feature Work?
YouTube explained how this feature works using the above image. For example, if the user searches on YouTube with the query, ‘virus in paracetamol,’ you can see the information panel at the top of the search results.
Machupo virus in pain-killers is a widespread internet hoax that sent thousands of people into a panic. At the top of the search results, users who search using this query will get a prompt from YouTube verified fact-checkers. This alerts users to the hoax.
Does YouTube block videos that contain wrong information or fake News?
Right now, Google doesn’t block videos that contain wrong information or information about hoaxes. But, it provides users with additional fact-checked information at the top of the search page results, so users can avoid clicking on hoaxes and other videos containing fake news. The information panels pop-up based on the queries users use to search. It’s not based on the information contained in videos that appear on search page results.
YouTube on the path to fight fake news
In recent years, YouTube has introduced several new changes to prevent the spreading of videos that contain false information. The company recently came under public fire because it enabled the growth of conspiracy theorists and other fake news peddlers.
As a result, YouTube introduced NewsWire, a dedicated video feed exclusively reserved for verified news organizations. The company also included informational cues from Wikipedia under controversial videos. Recently, YouTube has prevented advertisements from appearing on videos that are anti-vaccine, to prevent these channels from making money off misinformation.
Will this feature prevent users from believing wrong information?
YouTube believes that by promptly displaying the disclaimer above the results page, it will prevent users from getting swayed by the wrong information in videos.
When will this feature be available worldwide?
YouTube reported that the company is working on making “information panels” available to worldwide users, though it hasn’t given a timeline until now.