YouTube, the popular video streaming platform owned by Google, is taking notable steps to combat the spread of fake news and misinformation, especially with India’s general elections coming up next year.
This move is crucial because, as we all know, fake news can cause a lot of confusion and problems, especially during important events like elections.
To make sure its users get reliable news, YouTube is partnering with trusted news publishers and independent journalists.
This is a big deal because, although news isn’t a separate category on YouTube, it plays a big role in what people watch on the platform. So, having reliable news sources is important to ensure that viewers are getting accurate information.
Ishan Chatterjee, the Director of YouTube India, explained that their strategy against fake news includes not just removing content that’s been manipulated to deceive people but also making sure that high-quality content from news organizations and independent journalists is accessible to people.
This approach is really important because it’s not just about stopping bad information but also about promoting good, trustworthy information.
Interestingly, a lot of news consumption on YouTube is happening through YouTube Shorts and Connected TV (CTV).
These platforms are growing fast, and that’s leading to more people watching news content on them. In fact, CTV has been YouTube’s fastest-growing platform in India over the past five years, with more than 58 million individuals streaming YouTube on their TVs as of June.
The Indian market is unique in the way people consume live content, including news, on platforms like CTV. From January 2022 to March 2023, Indians spent a whopping 6.1 trillion minutes watching online videos, with a significant chunk of this viewing happening on YouTube.
This surge in online content consumption is partly due to lower internet prices and the widespread availability of affordable smartphones.
YouTube’s dominance in the online video space is clear, with 88% of the viewing time in India happening on its platform. The platform has been innovating to capture the creator economy and changing consumer trends in the country.
For example, last year, YouTube piloted shoppable content for viewers in India and launched a learning management system called ‘Courses’ for content creators.
As YouTube marks its 15th year in India, the platform is looking forward to growth driven by mobile-first creators and content consumption from living rooms. The launch of Shorts in India in 2020 was aimed at tapping into the growing creator economy.
In summary, YouTube’s efforts to tackle fake news in India ahead of the 2024 elections are a notable step in ensuring that viewers have access to reliable and accurate information.
With the platform’s wide reach and influence, these measures could play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of news consumption during the election period.