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After rolling out in Brazil and India, YouTube will now offer fact checks in the U.S. as COVID-19 conspiracies grow

YouTube Axon 10 Pro
YouTube Axon 10 Pro (Image credit: Jason England / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • YouTube rolled out fact-checking for India and Brazil last year.
  • In the wake of the COVID--19 pandemic, it's now extending this support to the U.S.
  • It plans to bring this feature globally after scaling up its systems to support the effort.

There's never a good time for conspiracy theories, but amid the COVID-19 pandemic, these can be actively harmful. In timely action, YouTube is extending its fact-checking panels to include COVID-19 news and bringing it to the U.S.

"When users are searching on YouTube around a specific claim, we want to give an opportunity for those fact checks to show up right then and there, when our users are looking for information — especially around fast-moving. quickly changing topics like COVID-19," Neal Mohan, YouTube's chief product officer told The Verge, "but of course fact checking will apply more broadly now that it's launching here in the US."

Fact Check Covid Ibuprofen

Source: Google (Image credit: Source: Google)

Writing in a blog post, the YouTube team explained their position when it comes to fact checks:

There are a few factors that determine whether a fact check information panel will appear for any given search. Most important, there must be a relevant fact check article available from an eligible publisher. And in order to match a viewer's needs with the information we provide, fact checks will only show when people search for a specific claim. For example, if someone searches for "did a tornado hit Los Angeles," they might see a relevant fact check article, but if they search for a more general query like "tornado," they may not. All fact check articles must also comply with our Community Guidelines, and viewers can send feedback to our team.

COVID-19 is, of course, more relevant now, and that's where Google will be focusing their energy, Hoaxes regarding ibuprofen, antimalarial drugs, and the ingestion of strong chemical agents have already sprung up, so the firm has its work cut out for it. Google won't remove wrong but compliant content however, it's hoping that by providing enough clear information, viewers will be able to make up their minds for themselves. Over time, Google says that it plans to roll out fact-checking to other countries.

YouTube: Everything you need to know

8 Comments
  • lol "Fact check" as long as the "facts" are what Google approves... 
  • Pretty much this
  • I agree.
    Who will fact check the fact checkers?
    And who made factcheck.org the authority on facts?
  • Utterly ridiculous. We don't need information police. People need to be able to critically think for themselves. When they take the time to implement this sort of thing it makes you wonder..
  • The problem is: Google still seems to think people see them as objective. They are not.
  • I think about the same number of people trust Google to be unbiased as they do Facebook aka not too many. This would be fine and dandy had it not been for Google's notoriously bad and biased nature with searches and news. 
  • I am under the assumption that Google would be getting all of their information from people that work in the medical field and have all of the necessary credentials for this.
  • This is just another form of censorship. The "fact checkers" will be anyone who agrees with Google/YouTube corporate agenda, which is to ultimately control literally everything that gets posted/uploaded to the web. Anyone who thinks this is a great idea needs to re-evaluate their notion of freedom of speech. Protecting free speech isn't for people/government/corporations in power. Protection of free speech is for those who ARE NOT in positions of authority. Protection of free speech protects unpopular opinions & views that run counter to the majority and those in power.