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YouTube fails again at cracking down on fake-news and conspiracies

Facebook isn’t the only social media site with a fake-news problem. YouTube has spread plenty of it on its site, too.

It’s become a popular home for conspiracy theorists to push crazy ideas. In fact, we recently told you how the Flat Earth movement got its momentum from YouTube.

That’s why site administrators are making efforts to cut down on those types of videos from going viral. Its latest attempt seems to be another fail.

YouTube’s do-it-yourself approach

YouTube claims it wants to reduce the popularity of conspiracy theory and fake-news videos going around on its site. But how serious is it, really?

The site is releasing a new feature that is designed to fact-check videos. To help fight the spread of misinformation, an information panel with a fact-check will appear whenever someone searches for what’s considered to be a controversial topic. Fact-checks will be provided by verified partners.

For example, do you remember the hoax spreading on social media a couple years ago dealing with Paracetamol tablets? The claim was, tablets with “P-500” written on them were not safe because they contain the Machupo virus.

That was proven to be fake news. However, there are still videos about it on YouTube that you can watch. So, with the new feature, if someone searches for something like “virus in paracetamol,” they will see a hoax alert in the search results.

Here’s what it looks like:

(Image source: YouTube)

There are a couple problems with this approach.

First, YouTube won’t be fact-checking individual videos, the warning only shows up in search results. If you are just hopping around YouTube organically, which is common, and run into a video containing fake news you won’t see a warning.

Secondly, it isn’t removing videos that have been deemed to contain fake news or conspiracies. They will still be available to watch so users can make their own decisions. Seriously!? It’s like YouTube is saying, “It’s up to you to check content, not us.”

At the moment, this new feature is only available in India, so if you try checking it out now you won’t see it. It’s supposed to roll out to the rest of the world sometime this year.

Bonus: Is YouTube safe for kids?

Too busy to read? Tap or click below to listen while driving to work.

A young woman lies sick on a bed. On the table next to her is a hypodermic needle. Her sister tells her, “You’re hot,” injects something into her backside and gives her a long, lingering kiss on the lips. Adult film? Nope. It’s a cartoon featuring Elsa from “Frozen.” “Elsagate” is a disturbing movement on YouTube that targets young children.

In this Komando on Demand podcast, renowned psychologist Dr. Christine Davidson joins Kim Komando to talk about it. Dr. Davidson is founder of Davidson Learning Center and DrDavidson.com. She specializes in education for autistic children, a population that is especially vulnerable to disturbing online video content.

Listen to this fascinating conversation and learn how to protect children from adult content that’s disguised as safe for kids.

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