YouTube To Label Videos From Government Sources

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As part of an effort “to provide greater transparency across the board to our community of creators, advertisers, and viewers,” YouTube will start adding labels notifying viewers when they are watching a news video from a source backed or funded by a government, according to a blog post from Geoff Samek, senior product manager for YouTube News.

For example, channels run by the U.S.-backed Radio Free Europe, Russian-backed RT, or Qatar-backed Al Jazeera, may see warnings below videos stating that they are “funded in whole or in part by [whichever government is supporting the news outlet],” as well as a link to the outlets Wikipedia page.

For now, writes Samek, the warnings will only be shown to viewers in the U.S., though it will expand over time. He adds that the new decision “represents one of many more steps we will take throughout 2018 to improve how we deliver news content on YouTube.”

YouTube was among the tech companies that had to deal with misinformation during the 2016 election, and the decision announced Friday is part of what Samek says was a move “to better surface authoritative news content.”

The move may also soothe concerns from advertisers, who if they choose to advertise on news content, generally want their ads to be associated with credible outlets, and may want to know if some channels are supported by governments.

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