Tuesday November 13, 2018
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YouTube to Invest $25mn in Countering Fake News

The "Top News" and "Breaking News" features have been launched in 17 countries, including in India

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YouTube music will separate the movies and music section on the platform. Pixabay
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Google-owned video-sharing platform YouTube has announced it will invest $25 million to fight fake news — especially for the urgent coverage of breaking news — on its platform for over 1.8 billion monthly active users.

The investment will be part of the Google News Initiative (GNI), first introduced in March by the tech giant, to help the media and to deal with fake news.

“We’re establishing a working group with news organisations and experts from around the world to help us develop new product features, improve the news experience on YouTube and tackle emerging challenges,” said Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer ay YouTube, in a blog post late on Monday.

“News organisations including Vox Media, Jovem Pan and India Today are early members of the working group. We’re looking forward to having more join as we convene the group in the coming weeks,” added Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer.

Beginning in the coming weeks, when YouTube users in the US search for videos on breaking news, they will see short excerpts of the news as well as the links to different media.

In addition, YouTube will provide links to Wikipedia or the Encyclopedia Britannica with controversial videos or conspiratorial issues such as the Moon landing.

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YouTube App on a smartphone. Pixabay

“We remain committed to working with the journalism community to build a more sustainable video ecosystem for news organisations,” the post read.

To make it easier to find quality news, YouTube has launched “Top News” shelf that highlights videos from news sources in search results.

When a breaking news event happens, another new feature called “Breaking News” shelf will highlight videos from news organisations about that event directly on the YouTube homepage.

Also Read: IGTV is Instagram’s Answer to YouTube

The “Top News” and “Breaking News” features have been launched in 17 countries, including in India.

Mohan and Kyncl admitted that “there is a lot of work to do”, but underlined that they will try to “provide a better experience to users who come to YouTube every day to learn more about what is happening in the world from a diversity of sources”.

“We will provide funding across approximately 20 global markets to support news organisations in building sustainable video operations,” the blog post added. (IANS)

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg To Testify Before a US-Canada ‘Grand Committee”

Joining forces with Canada — and perhaps other countries — seems designed to prod Zuckerberg and persuade him to change his mind.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election and data privacy. VOA

Parliamentary committees in Britain and Canada on Wednesday urged Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before a joint hearing of international lawmakers examining fake news and the internet.

Damian Collins, the head of the U.K. parliament’s media committee, is joining forces with his Canadian counterpart, Bob Zimmer, to pressure Zuckerberg to personally take part in hearings, as he did before the U.S Congress and the European Parliament. The so-called “international grand committee” session would be held Nov. 27 and could include lawmakers from other countries.

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A protester wearing a mask with the face of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is flanked by two fellow activists wearing angry face emoji masks, during a protest against Facebook policies, in London, Britain (From archives) VOA

“We understand that it is not possible to make yourself available to all parliaments. However, we believe that your users in other countries need a line of accountability to your organization — directly, via yourself,” the pair said in a letter to Zuckerberg. “We would have thought that this responsibility is something that you would want to take up.”

Social media companies have been under scrutiny in Britain following allegations that political consultancy Cambridge Analytica used data from tens of millions of Facebook accounts to profile voters and help U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign. The committee is also investigating the impact of fake news distributed via social media sites globally.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote address at a Facebook developers conference in San Jose, California. VOA

Collins has been irate with Facebook for sending Zuckerberg’s underlings to his committee’s hearings while the leader of the Silicon Valley company declined invitations to attend. Joining forces with Canada — and perhaps other countries — seems designed to prod Zuckerberg and persuade him to change his mind.

Also Read: Twitter Still Remains A Hotbed For Account Spreading Fake News: Study

“No such joint hearing has ever been held,” the pair wrote. “Given your self-declared objective to ‘fix’ Facebook, and to prevent the platform’s malign use in world affairs and democratic process, we would like to give you the chance to appear at this hearing.” (VOA)