Sun, Feb 04, 2018 - Page 5 News List

YouTube begins labeling government-funded news

AFP, SAN FRANCISCO

YouTube on Friday began labeling news broadcasts that receive government money as it vowed to be stricter about content at the globally popular online video-sharing service.

A feature being rolled out in the US displays notices below videos uploaded by news broadcasters that receive government or public money, YouTube News senior product manager Geoff Samek said in a blog post.

“Our goal is to equip users with additional information to help them better understand the sources of news content that they choose to watch on YouTube,” Samek said. “News is an important vertical for us and we want to be sure to get it right.”

The move is likely to affect videos from services such as Kremlin-backed RT, which critics have called a propaganda outlet for Moscow, but others as well.

The blog post included a screen shot with a disclaimer about the US government-funded Radio Free Asia.

The flagging might also apply to state-chartered news organizations, such as the BBC and Agence France-Presse, as well as US-based public broadcasters.

Notices displayed with state-sponsored news broadcasts are to include links to Wikipedia so that viewers can find out more about agencies behind the reports, Samek said.

The feature is nascent and would be refined based on feedback from users.

YouTube last year made a series of changes intended to “better surface authoritative news,” Samek said.

The company’s priorities for this year include tightening and better enforcing rules at the service, YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki said.

“The same creativity and unpredictability that makes YouTube so rewarding can also lead to unfortunate events where we need to take a clear, informed and principled stance,” Wojcicki said in an online post. “We realize we have a serious social responsibility to get these emerging policy issues right.”

Solutions being worked on include enhanced software smarts and more human review of videos uploaded to YouTube, Wojcicki said.

The number of workers at YouTube and Google focused on content that might violate policies is to increase to more than 10,000.

“We’re also currently developing policies that would lead to consequences if a creator does something egregious that causes significant harm to our community as a whole,” Wojcicki said.

YouTube last month announced ramped-up rules regarding when it will run ads with videos as it scrambled to quell concerns by brands about being paired with troublesome content.

YouTube late last year pulled 150,000 videos of children after lewd comments about them were posted by viewers.

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