Thursday 24 September 2020 8:00 am

Youtube launches UK fact checking amid Covid-19 misinformation

Youtube has today announced it will expand its fact-checking tool to the UK, as it battles the spread of misinformation related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The feature, which is already available in the US, Brazil and India, provides an information panel displayed above searches covering topics “prone to longstanding misinformation”, such as coronavirus or flat Earth theories.

Fact checks will also only show when people search for a specific claim — rather than a single word — and when there is a relevant fact check article available from an eligible publisher.

Beginning today, UK users will see fact checks from local trusted organisations such as BBC Reality Check, Full Fact, Ferret Fact Service, and FactCheckNI.

Youtube will also, from time to time, provide fact checks from international organisations as long as the articles are in English.

Credit: Youtube

Ben McOwen Wilson, managing director for Youtube UK, said: “Launching our fact check information panels in the UK is one of the many steps we are taking to raise up authoritative sources, to provide relevant and authoritative context, and to continue to reduce the spread of harmful misinformation.

“Our work to improve the news experience on the platform and the fight against misinformation is not and will never be over, but Youtube is committed to the long haul and will continue to introduce new features and policies to help protect and inform the British public.”

Similar tools have been implemented by a number of tech firms over the course of the year, as the coronavirus pandemic amplified the need for combatting misinformation online.