YouTube to start labeling government-funded channels in the U.S.
MANILA, Philippines – YouTube announced in a blog post it would start to label channels and broadcasters that are wholly or partly funded by the government. The change is rolling out in the United States at the moment, with no announcements yet regarding potential roll-outs in other regions.
With the change, a line of text will appear at the bottom of a video, saying the channel on which the video appears is wholly or partly funded by a particular government.
The company provided an example on its blog, showing a video with Chinese text, and below, a line that reads, "RFA is funded in whole or in part by the American government."
YouTube also says that a link to Wikipedia page of the news channel will be shown.
"Our goal is to equip users with additional information to help them better understand the sources of news content that they choose to watch on YouTube," said YouTube.
The move is a way for YouTube to curb potential misinformation or the spread of propaganda from government-funded channels.
The move comes in the aftermath of a US Senate probe into Facebook, Twitter, and Alphabet (Google and YouTube's parent company) regarding the spread of Russian propaganda through the online platforms.
The Verge notes that the YouTube tweak will be affecting the Russian state news organization, RT, which "has been described as Russia's English-language propaganda outlet," and has been accused by US officials of influencing the 2016 national elections.
With the change, RT videos will now be labeled "RT is funded in whole or in part by the Russian government," explains The Verge.
Wrapping up the blog post, YouTube said: "This notice on publishers receiving public or government funding, though still in its early stages, not only carries forward our work in this area through 2017, but represents one of many more steps we will take throughout 2018 to improve how we deliver news content on YouTube." – Rappler.com