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YouTube cracking down on fake news

By AAP Newswire

Google's YouTube says it is taking several steps to ensure the veracity of news on its service by cracking down on misinformation and supporting news organisations.

The company said Monday it will make "authoritative" news sources more prominent, especially in the wake of breaking news events when misinformation can spread quickly.

At such times, YouTube will begin showing users short text previews of news stories in video search results, as well as warnings that the stories can change.

The goal is to counter the fake videos that can proliferate immediately after shootings, natural disasters and other major happenings.

For example, YouTube search results prominently showed videos purporting to "prove" that mass shootings like the one that killed at least 59 in Las Vegas were fake, acted out by "crisis actors."

In these urgent cases, traditional video won't do, since it takes time for news outlets to produce and verify high-quality clips. So YouTube aims to short-circuit the misinformation loop with text stories that can quickly provide more accurate information. Company executives announced the effort at YouTube's New York offices.

Those officials, however, offered only vague descriptions of which sources YouTube will consider authoritative. Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan said the company isn't just compiling a simple list of trusted news outlets, noted that the definition of authoritative is "fluid" and then added the caveat that it won't simply boil down to sources that are popular on YouTube.

He added that 10,000 human reviewers at Google - so-called search quality raters who monitor search results around the world - are helping determine what will count as authoritative sources and news stories.