The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates many of today’s societal issues. One of those areas is misinformation, and YouTube hopes to tackle that in the US by introducing fact check panels.

Reflecting how “more and more people [are] coming to YouTube for news and information,” Google in recent years has added context when looking for and watching videos. For the company, COVID-19 has “reaffirmed how important it is for viewers to get accurate information during fast-moving events.”

YouTube is bringing fact check information panels to the United States after launching in Brazil and India last year. They aim to address misinformation by offering relevant, third-party fact-checked articles when people look for topics related to fast-moving developments. The goal is to make sure “viewers can make their own informed decision about claims made in the news.”

The “Independent fact check” panel appears at the top of search results when certain criteria are met. There must be a “relevant fact check article available from an eligible publisher,” while the search term has to be 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.

Over time, the system behind surfacing fact checks will get more accurate, with this information panel eventually coming to more countries. It follows previously work on surfacing Breaking News and Top News shelves with authoritative sources. YouTube will occasionally display Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia articles directly underneath conspiracy videos, while all COVID-19 content has recently gained links to the WHO and CDC.

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