YouTube Fights Fake News with 'Fact-Checking Panel'

John Lister's picture

Google is stepping up a fact-checking feature on YouTube. It won't mean removing videos, but rather placing a warning in results for searches on topics associated with misleading information.

The "fact check information panels" were first used in Brazil and India last year and will now be rolled out to the United States. They're designed as a way to focus human resources given the sheer quantity of videos uploaded every day.

The idea is to deal with misinformation about recent news events where bogus claims can appear and spread quickly. Topics will be selected based on both the amount of interest and the availability of a fact checking article from an authoritative source.

Panel Gives Verdict On Questionable Claims

If a user searches for videos on such a topic, they'll get the normal set of results - including some videos which may not be reliable. At the top of the screen they will also see a special panel which summarizes a controversial claim and whether it was proven true or false. There will also be a link to the full article on an independent fact checking site.

Google gave an example of somebody searching for the term "covid and ibuprofen." As well as videos on the topic, the results include a panel noting claims that the "vast majority" of people who died with COVID-10 had ibuprofen in their system were false, with no evidence to support them. (Source:

US Publishers Already On Board

YouTube will pay $1 million to publishers via the International Fact-Checking Network. Google says more than a dozen US publishers who operate fact checking services are already participating and could have their work featured in the information panels. (Source:

Google hasn't said how many topics and search terms it expects to have associated information panels.

What's Your Opinion?

Is Google right to include these panels? Should it remove videos that contain claims disproven by the fact checking? Should it attempt to judge a video producer's credibility when ranking videos on a controversial topic?

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kitekrazy's picture

Major news networks have been exposed of late but I doubt their content is blocked. Youtube sees no issues blocking conservative viewpoints. One person is already taking them to court. I hate this being about politics but there is no censoring of left wing propaganda. If they are receiving any money from the government then there should be no censoring.

Navy vet's picture

This is like when the US Government hired Saudis to provide security in our US seaports.

DavidInMississippi's picture

Many big tech companies, including YouTube and their owner Google, are now de-listing or de-ranking sites/videos that counter their own agendas. I would cheer YouTube's efforts to alert us to fake news if we could somehow be certain the would not erroneously list videos that counter the Google agenda as fake. As an example, the natural health website has been severely de-ranked and debunked as "fake news" for merely asking questions based on published scientific research. So my question for YouTube is "Will you be truly neutral in deciding what is fake news?" or more concisely, "Who checks your checkers?"

banjoman_15_10660's picture

The big tech guys have been at this for years, and since there is a left-leaning bent to their mindset, any conservative news will always be considered incorrect, and needing to be reigned in. Oh, the horrors of freedom of speech and self reliance.
I just think it will be impossible for them to judge the world through fair in unbiased eyes.

rwells78_13585's picture

Didn't FB, U-Tube, Twitter, etc. claim they are not a publisher and can't be held responsible for what somebody posts on their site? Yet now they are acting just like a publisher. Can't have it both ways, folks.

ThePunisher007's picture

Sadly, way too many people have an agenda these days due mainly to TDS. I would never put any stock in their decisions on what is and isn't accurate. I believe the article did say they would be rating the videos; not removing them, so that's a plus; but if you look at some of the mainstream fact checking or informational sites like Snopes and Wikipedia or news outlets like the New York Times and the Washington Post you need no more proof that these so called reputable sources are incapable of leaving their politics out of their fact checking. Because liberals and conservatives will both believe what they want to believe regardless of what they see or hear in the video or what they read in the disclaimers, I believe it's a waste of time, effort and money.