YouTube partnered with Wikipedia in 2018 in an effort to provide additional information to users when they search for controversial topics. This added context comes in the form of a fact-check link below a video, a feature that first rolled out in Brazil and India last year.
Today, YouTube announced that it is expanding that feature to the U.S. to help fight misinformation. It builds upon the service’s existing tools to highlight information from authoritative sources, such as the Breaking News and Top News shelves meant to show legitimate information on its homepage and search results. The Google-owned video sharing platform will use those tools to debunk false information around popular topics like COVID-19. YouTube will use information panels to highlight “relevant third-party fact-checked articles above search results for relevant queries” with the goal of providing fresh context about unfounded claims to users.
However, certain conditions must be met for the information panels to appear above search results. First, a relevant fact check article must already be available from an eligible publisher. Also, users must search for specific claims in order for the fact check articles to show up. Of course, these additional pieces of information are still subject to YouTube’s community guidelines. Existing publishers that participate in this effort include The Dispatch, FactCheck.org, PolitiFact, and The Washington Post Fact Checker. YouTube is also investing one million dollars in fact-checking initiatives across the world.