The Novel Coronavirus has been a worldwide topic of conversation since the outbreak in 2019 – health experts, media and content creators alike have taken to online platforms to share the latest news on the spread, helpful tips to avoid further infection as well as discuss the global impact of the pandemic.
However, while many of these videos have been made with good intention – there are a number of random users who have uploaded content detailing fake news and conspiracy theories among other hoaxes.
In response to these trolls, YouTube announced that it will be introducing a whole row of authoritative news videos dedicated to combating the spread of misinformation surrounding COVID-19. This comes shortly after the content streaming platforms decision to demonetize any and all ads placed on content that address the outbreak.
According to The Verge, this isn’t the first time YouTube has done something like this – “YouTube has used shelves like this in the past to elevate videos that viewers can rely on, including during massive world news events. There’s also a Breaking News shelf on the homepage that pulls from authoritative voices”.
The COVID-19 shelf is expected to launch sometime during the last week of March in 16 countries, including the US, UK, Italy, Japan and Germany. YouTube says that it hopes to share this feature across more countries in the near future.
Fighting COVID-19 Misinformation
YouTube is not the only social giant taking a stand against fraudulent information online. Some of the worlds biggest social media and information sharing platforms have announced that they will be working together to protect their users from coronavirus-related misinformation. These companies include Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit and Twitter.
There’s no word yet on exactly what this collaboration will mean for the companies or their users.