Youtube and Encyclopedia Britannica have partnered up in an effort to provide users with custom, fact-checked information to combat what Britannica Group CEO Karthik Krishnan referred to as the "age of proactive misinformation".
The partnership is currently being trialed in the US and is to be rolled out in other regions over the coming months. Britannica will focus on certain scientific and historical topics which are regular targets of misinformation campaigns. Britannica will provide tailored, fact-checked information pieces below relevant videos and YouTube will link to Britannica's website in particular searches.
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"We're working to put more authoritative content in front of people coming to YouTube for news and to provide context to help people make their own decisions," commented YouTube chief product officer, Neal Mohan. "We want to give them ample choices in how they verify that information, and when it comes to credible sources Britannica is an obvious choice."
The initiative is one of a number of moves Britannica has made in recent months to combat the increase in misinformation or "fake news" as it is colloquially referred to. The company released a new online channel called Demystified in 2017, on which it provides short articles addressing commonly asked questions. More recently, it released a browser extension for Google Chrome and Firefox called Britannica Insights which helps users find trusted and verified information when browsing the internet.
Karthik Krishnan, CEO of the Britannica Group, remarked, "We take a number of approaches to achieve the above goals. One is to make it easy for people to discover quality information; another, in this age of proactive misinformation, is to help dispel false information with facts. In a 24/7 world where people are constantly rushing from one activity to another, it's vital to get information to people where and when they need it, so that it's not only correct but useful. Our partnership with YouTube is a perfect example of our renewed focus to provide utility at the point of need.
"Facts matter and truth matters, and in a digital age that's currently seeing a tsunami of proactive misinformation, truth needs a champion. Britannica remains committed to surfacing trusted and verified information and delivering on the founding vision from 1768."