The search bar of YouTube is now one of the most used search engines in the world. Not surprisingly, if you look at how many people use YouTube on a daily basis but that also involves dangers. Certainly when something big is going on in the world, the response of many people (especially young people) to search on YouTube for someone who has something to say about it or the live stream, which opens the door wide to misinformation.
YouTube wants to take responsibility in this kind of situation and has now indicated that in case of disasters, attacks and other important events, they will also show short written news items in the search results if certain search terms are used. These short messages are then linked to the full news items and are also mentioned if a situation is still under way or a story is developing. That is part of the Google News Initiative.
The pen is faster than the camera?
In this way, YouTube hopes to dampen misinformation that often occurs in such cases. Incorrect information from videos often lead a life of their own and that is not the intention, because then the trending algorithms of the video service ensure that those stories continue to be shown. According to YouTube, video is a wonderful medium, but certainly in evolving situations it is often not as fast as written news, except live streams.
That is not the only thing that YouTube will do to make the news more reliable. The ‘Top News’ and ‘Breaking News’ sections on the site that will appear above the regular search results when searching for a specific topic are also rolled out more broadly. They are above the regular search results and are only filled by pre-selected official news sources that YouTube cooperates with. That should give an extra incentive to first look at the ‘real’ news about an event or development, before you end up in a blaze of hot takes that is spread through YouTube channels.
YouTube itself will invest $ 25 million to improve and support the video news from various official parties, so they take it seriously. For the time being, this change will only be implemented in the US, but if it turns out to work, the change will also be rolled out there.