YouTube announced on Monday many changes aimed toward building a better news experience with more reliable news, investing USD 25 Million in grants to news organizations to expand video operations under a USD 300 Million initiative sponsored by Google. This change was pushed for after the platform promoted frequently conspiracy-theory videos during breaking news events during the shootings in Florida and Las Vegas.
YouTube executives stated the goal is to identify authoritative news sources and to bring it to the top of users’ feeds while supporting quality journalism with tools and funding to more effectively reach audiences. The challenge in this is what determines authority with the public divided on which news sources to trust or if traditional news is trustworthy.
The Company will implement substantial tweaks to tools used for recommending news-related videos, beginning with an information panel above videos about developing stories linked to an article that Google News deems to most relevant and authoritative on the subject to prevent quick hoax videos from reaching the top of YouTube recommendations. Google News, however, has had its flaws in promoting authoritative content when it promoted a blog that falsely claimed Donald Trump won the popular vote after the 2016 election for “final election results.”
YouTube Chief Product Officer, Neal Mohan, told reporters that about 450 hours of video goes up every minute so “human curation isn’t really a viable solution.” The changes will be focused toward breaking news or developing stories, so its traditional algorithm, prioritizing a user’s personal viewing history and content of video the user is currently watching to decide what videos to surface next, will still apply for other videos.
YouTube executives says the USD 25 Million in grants to news organizations could grow in time but it’s a start under the Google News Initiative, which is a three-year USD 300 Million fund to lift up quality journalism in March.