YouTube’s anti-fake news features just hit Singapore and Malaysia – here’s how they’ll affect users

YouTube’s Singapore and Malaysia sites received the Top News and Breaking News features on Nov 13. These features were first rolled out to 17 countries earlier in July.
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  • In July, YouTube added two new sections to its site: “Breaking News” and “Top News”

  • These sections feature videos by credible sources and are part of parent company Google’s US$25m investment to fight fake news

  • The changes hit YouTube’s Singapore and Malaysia sites on Tuesday (13 Nov)

You’ve probably seen them by now, hanging out at the top of popular video-watching site YouTube.

We’re talking about the new sections – “Breaking News” and “Top News” –  part of YouTube and parent company Google’s US$25 million investment to combat fake news across the company’s products.

The changes were implemented in Singapore and Malaysia on Tuesday (Nov 13), YouTube said in a statement. Seventeen countries, including the US, India and Japan, received the changes earlier in July.

The company said that these features would “improve the news experience on the platform and make credible sources more readily accessible to users”.

“Quality journalism is key to quality search results and to engaging YouTube content. Over the past few years, we’ve worked with publishers to elevate accurate, quality content and stem the flow of misinformation and disinformation,” it added.

To “proactively” alert viewers to breaking news, the breaking news section will show videos from news organizations whenever a breaking news event happens.

Those searching for a particular news topic on YouTube will see a top news section, which highlights videos from trusted sources and news sites near the top of search results.

People who click on videos from these sections will also see content from other credible sources in YouTube’s “Up Next” suggestions, the company said.

According to a report by Mashable, YouTube determines if a source is credible by looking at Google Pagerank – the algorithm that powers Google search – which takes into account a source’s citations across the internet and its publication’s historical credibility.

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