YouTube Takes Bold Steps To Counter Fake News

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In the wake of the alt right and Donald Trump, YouTube has taken a number of measures to deal with the onslaught of fake news, which is capturing and converting minds to the alt right at an alarming rate. In line with a shared policy among tech giants, YouTube is steadily changing its platform to make it harder and harder for fake news to reach new people, containing the damage to those already under the alt right’s spell. The following are some of the innovative ways in which YouTube is improving the quality of content that reaches its users:

Notifications Bell

Many youtubers only watch videos that tweak their interest in their notifications. The notifications bell forces them to manually sift through their many subscriptions and pick the channels that they’re really interested in, thereby reducing the number of fake news stories that reach them from channels they don’t normally watch.

Heroes Program

The Heroes Program rewards youtubers for flagging videos as fake news and hate speech, allowing them to become members of the exclusive Heroes Club. Elite members of the Heroes Club are invited to an annual Heroes Summit with other like-minded progressives, where they will be wined, dined and praised by top YouTube executives.

Restricted Mode

YouTube’s new restricted mode option hides fake news and hate speech altogether, allowing youtubers to enjoy high quality, non-offensive content. The following screenshots demonstrate how fake news is hidden in restricted mode, while real news is left untouched:

Auto Unsubscribe

There have been many reports of youtubers being automatically unsubscribed from channels. YouTube is yet to admit that they have such a program, but it may be a covert operation to tackle fake news, in which case they deserve praise and admiration.

Targeting Individual Channels

YouTube has been banning, demonetizing and de-trending popular youtubers for posting hateful, fake or inappropriate content that challenges or mocks progressive narratives.

These are some very encouraging steps towards ending fake news and hate speech, but sadly much more needs to be done to truly fix this problem. While Facebook remains largely free of hateful and misleading content and Twitter is cracking down hard on it, YouTube has become a dumping ground for alt right propaganda, where many progressives no longer feel safe. We need to make the internet a safe space for progressives, and we cannot let the most popular media platform on the web become a breeding ground for extremism. It’s time to shut down these hateful youtubers once and for all, so that the people can get the quality, trustworthy and non-offensive content that they deserve.

Chezleigh
Chezleigh

flag me

#conspiracy-theory

drb6
drb6

Excellent article! My only minor concern is the following – what happens if deplorable white males band together and start marking, lets say, CNN or Salon as fake news? I am sure though that Youtube has a solution for this case. Perhaps some channels (more important mainstream news) simply can not be flagged, or they need 10 million flags while Alex Jones needs 2 flags to be hidden.

Edit: and we can see yet once more that AT is way ahead of other progressive sites with respect to innovations. Flagging here was introduced a long time ago!

Make my votes count
Make my votes count

Thankfully I only get my news from real places like AT.
drb6 raises an excellent point, while this tool can be used for good to squelch liars ,racists and conservatives. In the wrong hands it can potentially be used against progressive sites.
Look at the way the radical white alt Right was able to use systems on Amazon to down vote Chelsea Clinton’s literary work of art. Or what they did to Amy Schumer on Netflicks. Hopefully You tube did not weaponize the enemy.

hungrypirana
hungrypirana

After fake news, the next frontier is progressives’ willful spread of ignorance. It’s a ubiquitous problem which can only be solved by barring all democrats from YouTube. BTW, unilateral flag setting without due process is a conspiracy against me.

#hate-speech

drb6
drb6

They are not “censors”, they are user-experience enhancing moderators.

vacamuerta
vacamuerta

Why not just burn them all?
Because a low key approach will draw less attention from paranoid right wing bigots/ conspiracy theorists. The option to purchase a denialist work simply disappears on (for example) Amazon. A good example is Menuhin’s disgusting book
“Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil: Recognize the True Enemy and Join to Fight Him (Paperback – 27 Jul 2016) by Gerard Menuhin”
This has gone into the memory hole where such rubbish belongs, and Amazon has removed its entry . Google has the memory of the book being on sale in its cache, but soon this will be gone too.
Only work by accredited historians/journalists should be available to the public. It is high time youtube stopped being used as a platform by the far right to spread fake Russian propaganda. This has already cost our president her rightful win.

vacamuerta
vacamuerta

That’s on YouTube, and it was not posted by an accredited journalist. We now know that she had pneumonia that afternoon, but she soon recovered and is otherwise in perfect health, as attested by her physician. A responsible journalist would have waited for her physicians verdict and not just put this sensationalist footage up on youtube to be misinterpreted. This is why youtube needs sensible posting safeguards and filters.

Funny how you are all over this, I bet you ignored the real concerns over wetstart McCaine’s health when he was a candidate.

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