The propagation of fake news, either deliberate or by accident, is becoming increasingly rampant these days. Multiple regulators and tech companies with user-generated content are scrambling to combat this growing problem. In light of the current situation, Google has now detailed its fact-checking initiatives across some services, including YouTube.
For starters, Google and YouTube have announced a $13.2 million grant for the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). This will contribute to the launch of a Global Fact Check Fund to financially support 135 fact-checking organizations spread across 65 countries to fight fake news being propagated in over 80 languages. This is Google and YouTube's largest grant in this area yet and will open in early 2023.
There are lots of fact-checking tools that Google has either rolled out or is testing across various services. Fact checks from independent organizations are highlighted in Google Search, News, and Images. Panels to provide more context also appear on YouTube in six countries, with plans for a wider rollout soon. There is also a Fact Check Explorer utility that allows anyone to verify the claims being made about a topic or a person.
Additionally, the Breaking News panel is surfaced in YouTube search results where relevant, showing developing content from reputable outlets. In the same vein, if the topic you're searching for does not have extensive results yet, Google Search will highlight this to you through a notice. Meanwhile, the "About this result" button can be used on Google Search before you decide to dive deep into a search result.
Google further noted that:
We’re continually making investments in our products, programs and partnerships to help fight misinformation. Starting next year, YouTube will host a training series for fact-checking organizations interested in learning more about the platform and best practices for video content strategy and engagement. YouTube also recently launched Hit Pause, a media literacy initiative to help viewers spot and evaluate misinformation. Additionally, Google continues to partner with organizations focused on media literacy through the Google News Initiative. Since 2018, the Google News Initiative has invested nearly $75 million in projects and partnerships working to strengthen media literacy and combat misinformation around the world. Our grant to the IFCN builds on that commitment.
Google and YouTube remain dedicated to keep doing our part to help you find what you’re looking for and give you the context you need to make informed decisions about what you see online. And we’re committed to continuing to support the journalists and fact-checking organizations on the front lines of the fight against misinformation.