YouTube plans to spend $25 million fighting 'fake news.' Here's how

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/07/09/youtube-plans-to-spend-25-mil.html

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#2

Makes me wonder why they waited so long to get this off the ground…

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#3

'Scares the ca-ca out of me…

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#4

$25 million?
Wow! That’s, like, almost half the profit they made on every single day in 2017 - looks like they’re really serious about this!

EDIT: I’ve flamingoed up, see below.
::beers:: for @Mister44

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#5

Did you mean to share Facebooks stats on a story about youtube?

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#6

In a country where the actual, in charge, POTUS calls real news “fake news” and fake news “real news” and has so many people believing whatever he says, one of the private corporations who has made major bank for years while helping to chum the water is now poised to make a difference for the better…

I’m not saying they aren’t, I’m just saying at this point I’m so punch-drunk by the effects of all of the “news” – real-real, real-fake, fake-real and fake-fake – that it feels like so little, much too late.

Doubleplusungood.

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#7

they announced new features targeted at making YouTube a more reliable source of legitimate news from content sources they decide are trustworthy

Or, as the alt-right might call those content sources, “fake news” and “Lügenpresse”:

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#8

Ah yes. That too. They decide who is trustworthy. Seems legit. Nothing to see here. Return to your homes.

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#9

Ooops… well spotted.
Nope.
Guilty of PUI - posting under the influence.

A cursory web search tells me that Google/Alphabet is very reluctant about posting revenue and profits for YouTube. For what it’s worth, according to some analysts YouTube has currently a yearly revenue of $12-15 billion. They should be able to make some profit from this.
They also should be able to able to spend more than $25 million on something important like this. Heck, it’s probably a deductible expense anyway.

(Google’s revenue worldwide in 2017: $109.65 billion. Money shouldn’t be the problem.)

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#10

And that’s (part) of why this hasn’t happened before (and is probably going to be inconsistently done, at best, in the future). The right-wing media has been taken over by conspiracy theories (Infowars is now mainstream, Fox isn’t always much better than Infowars). At the same time, real news gets derided by the right as “fake.” Social media is already taking heat for being “too left-wing,” and is cozying up to the right.

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#11

Let me fix that headline

YouTube plans to spend $25 million fighting ‘fake news.’ Here’s how

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#12

Isn’t there still an underlying problem that people will eagerly tune in to watch any loudmouth spouting uninformed opinions as long as he’s entertaining – even if they know the loudmouth is uninformed?

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#13

Oh, so now they’re going to not be evil?

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#14

This is such homeopathically weak sauce that I can only assume it’s intended to promote fake news, by cock-blocking discussion of the actual nature of the problem. Which is that when you replace an editorial voice with a mechanical process for feeding the audience’s thoughts back to itself, no matter the specific details of the mechanical process, what you have created is a machine for immersing people in their own cultural sewage.

YouTube, like Twitter and Facebook, flatly refuse to countenance human curation, because their business is predicated on operating at a scale that is only possible without that bottleneck. It’s not just the direct cost (which you could try to foist on users, as Reddit does); it’s that the essence of editing is to remove content, and if you’re set up as a volume-oriented, monopolistic info-sluice, that means leaving money on the table.

By curation, I don’t just mean fly-swatting egregious, unambiguously bad content, I mean having someone who can say “this content is garbage, and I have decided it shouldn’t go viral”. And you might think it’s good to be free of that sort of gatekeeper. But that person wouldn’t be a gatekeeper if YouTube weren’t a monopoly. And even if gatekeepers did establish themselves, at worst we’d be back to the situation of 20 years ago, which at this point doesn’t sound like a horrible trade-off.

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#15

I suspect YouTube saw that argument coming. That’s why they haven’t done anything, and why they aren’t doing much now. However, we have seen where the easy option of just being an impartial data server is getting us. It’s much easier to make a rousing video when you don’t have to consider the facts.

Making some effort gets two cheers from me.

#16

Why the hell would Facebook be a source for news, anyway?

@bobtato tells it like it is–these algorithms are, “a mechanical process for feeding the audience’s thoughts back to itself.”

#17

The problem is inherent to how Youtube is run, news or no news. They want creators and channels to focus on pushing out content quickly but also get high engagement, this devolves into aiming for click bait and content that’s easier to put together and requires less effort to set up.

If we’re talking about news then that means there’s less research someone can make over a span of time. If a channel spends a week to produce one video they’re behind someone who doesn’t care about having all the facts (or the correct ones) and is able to make several videos.

Unless YT is willing to pay for quality i don’t see a meaningful difference happening

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#18

They still have all the clickbait up, all the racist “social experiments”, fake videos homeless with hidden talents. So, what, they’re going to give lower rankings to flat earthers now?

Clickbaiters are going to conduct AP style journalism training? Ha. Ha. Ha.

This is more disgusting than Youtube just being what it is. The medium is the message. In the case of Youtube, both are garbage.

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#19

I’ve been working in News and Media Literacy Education for years, and while I am not directly involved with the efforts being funded by Goole described here, I’ve talked with those who are, both at Stanford and Poynter. I’m glad that they’re doing something, but I’m a little skeptical about YouTubers being the channel for education.

There’s no magic potion to fix what we’ve gotten into, whether it be technological or educational, and any effort like this needs to be buttressed with education for the consumer. Let’s see what happens next and continue to keep up with these efforts.

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#20

Can I ask what context this happens in? I’m guessing it’s not a class in public high schools (though I’d be happy to be wrong).

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