How Google and YouTube are investing in fact-checking

How Google and YouTube are investing in fact-checking

By Valentina Tuta

Imagine you are surfing the web and see a viral story about dolphins and swans returning to the canals of Venice, or a family member sends you a story about a local politician’s colorful past, or you read a health claim online.

Are they true? How do you know? People are often unsure of what information to trust. In fact, interest in the topic of misinformation reached an all-time high globally in October of this year, according to data from Google Trends.

Google team fights against misinformation

Google and YouTube are interfaces that take Google’s initiatives to combat misinformation very seriously and generally continually invest in products, programs, and partnerships to help people access high-quality information

Today, Google and YouTube announced a $13.2 million grant to the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at the nonprofit Poynter Institute to launch a new Global Fact-Checking Fund to support its network of 135 fact-checking organizations from 65 countries covering more than 80 languages.

Same, which, based on all the previous work to address misinformation, is Google’s and YouTube’s largest fact-checking grant. Clearly, though, helping people identify misinformation is a global challenge. 

However, the Global Fact Check Fund will help fact checkers scale existing operations or launch new ones that elevate information, elevate credible sources, and reduce the harm of misinformation and disinformation around the world. This fund is targeted to open in early 2023.

Keep in mind that fact-checking organizations can use the funds to incorporate new technologies, create or expand digital footprints, optimize fact-checking tools, and increase their capabilities to deepen audience engagement through innovative storytelling formats such as audio, video, or podcasts.

Helping people verify information

Now, according to Google and YouTube experts, their main goal is to connect the user with high-quality information and help them understand and evaluate it. As you will see, the fact-checking features in Google Search, News, and YouTube are an easy way to find information from independent fact-checking organizations.

Therefore, you can find additional fact-checking and contextual functions on our surfaces, such as:

  • Fact checks from independent organizations in Google Search results, highlighting relevant fact-checking articles in Search, News and Google Images results to ensure full context while searching.
  • YouTube fact-checking panels appear at the top of search results for queries related to a specific claim, helping to provide viewers with additional context. These panels are available in six countries, and we are working to roll them out in other markets.
  • Fact Check section in Google News on desktop, with which, in addition to headlines, you will now see the original claim made along with the verified assessment of independent organizations.
  • Fact Check Explorer, which searches for claims among 150,000 fact checks from reputable publishers,
  • After a major news event, the “Latest News” panel can appear in YouTube search results for relevant queries, showing you developing stories from news sources that follow Google News content policies.
  • About this result is another search feature that helps you see more context about a result before visiting a web page, simply by tapping the three dots next to the result.
  • When the information you are looking for is not yet widely available, Google Search automatically displays a warning in your results that it may take time for a variety of sources to publish information on a topic.

Helping organizations fight misinformation

But these are not all the projects the company has in mind, as it ensures that they are always looking to continually invest in products, programs, and partnerships to help combat misinformation. 

In addition, starting next year, YouTube will host a training series for fact-checking organizations interested in learning more about the platform and best practices for video content strategy and engagement and likewise, the video platform also launched Hit Pause, a media literacy initiative to help viewers detect and evaluate misinformation.

More Google’s Initiatives

Moreover, Google continues to partner with organizations focused on media literacy through the Google News Initiative, as since 2018, it has invested nearly $75 million in projects and partnerships working to strengthen media literacy and combat misinformation around the world. Essentially, its grant to the IFCN builds on that commitment.

In closing, it should be emphasized that Google and YouTube remain dedicated to continuing to do our part to help you find what you’re looking for and provide you with the context you need to make informed decisions about what you see online. “We are committed to continuing to support journalists and fact-checking organizations on the front lines of the fight against misinformation.” concluded the organization.

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