YouTube is pouring $25 million into journalism on its platform in a push to support trustworthy news organizations and help them produce online videos.
The company announced in a blog post Monday that it plans to change how it works to “make authoritative sources readily accessible.”
The Google-owned service, which has been beset by accusations that it allows conspiracy theories and terrorist content to flourish, will promote videos from vetted sources on its Top News and Breaking News sections “to make it easier to find quality news.”
In addition, it will create new features in the U.S. to boost the distribution of local news. Fox News is a member of YouTube’s “News” channel.
“We believe quality journalism requires sustainable revenue streams and that we have a responsibility to support innovation in products and funding for news,” the company’s chief product officer and chief business officer, Neal Mohan and Robert Kyncl respectively, said in a statement.
The statement continued: “Today, we’re announcing steps we’re taking with the Google News Initiative to support the future of news in online video, and product features we’ve been working on to improve the news experience on YouTube.”
The platform, which has over 1.8 billion monthly active users, has been criticized for not cracking down enough on rumors and conspiracy theories that bubble up during major breaking news events.
For example, within days of the Las Vegas massacre in October of last year, search results on YouTube suggested that the incident was a “false flag” staged by the government to control the spread of guns.
This year, the platform was forced to apologize when a video that reached the top of its Trending section claimed Parkland school shooting victim David Hogg was a “crisis actor.”
As Fox News previously reported, the video-sharing platform does link to Wikipedia entries now in some of its videos as a way to tamp down the spread of conspiracies and outright lies.
Its executives acknowledged there’s still a long way to go.
“We know there is a lot of work to do, but we’re eager to provide a better experience to users who come to YouTube everyday to learn more about what is happening in the world from a diversity of sources,” the blog post adds.
According to the post, in the coming weeks in the U.S. the platform will be providing preview links of news stories on YouTube—linking out to complete articles—during breaking news events, along with reminders that breaking and developing news can shift very quickly.
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