YouTube may disable the “Share” button on videos with misinformation

YouTube director of development Neil Mohan said the company plans to fight misinformation in videos before they go viral. In the near future, specialists will begin to monitor such content and extend the initiative to more regions.

YouTube’s disinformation search engine currently includes artificial intelligence and a team of moderators. However, often dangerous material is hidden under the guise of a regular video that passes the specified levels of filtering.

For example, commercials relating to COVID-19 have promoted the idea that the virus is being spread by 5G towers and should therefore be destroyed. Such materials formally pass the established criteria, so automatic systems do not flag violations in them.

Neil Mohan spoke about how the company plans to address these issues this year:

  1. First, YouTube will begin identifying misinformation before the video goes viral. To do this, it is necessary to expand the classification system and provide artificial intelligence with relevant information for learning. For example, increase the number of keywords in different languages, which will allow you to identify more videos.
  2. Also, search results will first show verified and authoritative videos on a tagged topic. For news materials, cards with links to trusted sources will be created.
  3. After YouTube will begin to limit the distribution of videos with misinformation. According to  Security Lab, at the moment such videos are not promoted in the recommendations, but the Share button may also be disabled on them soon.
  4. It is important to take into account regional nuances: different countries and cultures have their own understanding of how much a source can be trusted. In some regions, public broadcasters tend to be trusted, while in others their credibility is questioned. Therefore, here the YouTube team plans to work with local experts who understand the cultural context. 

At the same time, video hosting representatives note that such restrictions can sometimes go too far and limit the freedom of the viewer. It is important to find a balance between working to identify disinformation and maintaining a space where sensitive and controversial topics can be discussed.

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