Google is getting tough on COVID-19 misinformation

Following the news that Google’s YouTube is bringing fact-checking information panels to the US to curb COVID-19 related misinformation;

Laura Petrone, Senior Analyst atGlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“The tech giant is stepping up efforts to protect its video platform against the deluge of COVID-19 misinformation. While Google has so far been focused on containing the spread of false information, it is now taking a more proactive approach by highlighting third-party, fact-checked articles above search results for topics related to COVID-19.

“The fact-checking information panels, launched in Brazil and India last year, will highlight third-party, fact-checked articles above search results for topics such as ‘COVID-19 and ibuprofen’ or false claims like “COVID-19 is a bio-weapon.

“However, the fact-checking feature will only appear on searches, so it is not clear whether it will affect the recommendation feature as well. This is especially relevant as this feature encourages people to watch videos similar to those that they have already watched and is powered by algorithms that potentially feed addictions. 

 “Amid disruption of contract workers who police the YouTube platform, Google had previously warned that there will be less content moderation and that it will increase the use of automated content moderation instead. Use of YouTube has surged during the pandemic, so Google will need to demonstrate that it is up to the challenge of tackling misinformation by allocating the necessary resources to it.”

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