“Fake news” was one of the most-used phrases in 2017, and it’s become a real problem. Misinformation and the amount of media supporting that misinformation makes it really hard for people to filter out content and separate truth from fiction.
If it’s hard for adults, imagine how confusing it must be for kids. To counteract this, Google is partnering up with YouTube educators to produce content that can address these issues directly. Channels such as asapSCIENCE and Smarter Every Day, which have 7 and 5.5 million subscribers respectively, have expressed interest on taking a part in this initiative.
According to Polygon, the goal of the project is to help kids distinguish what’s real and what’s fake whenever they read news or watch educational YouTube videos.
YouTube is going through a complicated process of their own, not knowing how to handle their large amount of Youtubers. While the website has people who are interested in creating good (and correct) content, there are also tons of conspiracy theorists and users who are interested in simply creating trending videos, no matter where the facts come from. Even though YouTube has never been an official news outlet, it’s become a place where a lot of people turn for information.
YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki released a statement saying that in order to avoid spreading fake news, the company will now supplement videos with Wikipedia entries.
Wojcicki said that even though YouTube is not a news organization, they will do their best to spread information that is truthful, and would invest in algorithms and filtering methods to make sure that the facts stand out on their website. That’s not a lot, but it’s something.