According to BuzzFeed, YouTube is testing out a new feature which shows fact-check warnings when searching for content known to spread misinformation. The feature is currently live for some users in India and shows "information panels" on search results (not videos themselves) which provide disclaimers acquired from YouTube's fact-checking partners.
A spokesperson from YouTube told BuzzFeed: "As part of our ongoing efforts to build a better news experience on YouTube, we are expanding our information panels to bring fact checks from eligible publishers to YouTube."
Videos containing misinformation won't suffer any change themselves. Instead, the new information panels will serve as a disclaimer that the information in videos associated with a given query may be contentious or misleading.
Images of the new information panels in search on YouTube, via Buzzfeed.
The feature is already live for a "limited number of users," but only in India, and only for searches in English and Hindi. Buzzfeed was told the feature would be rolling out to a wider audience later, but a schedule was not provided. Some of the fact-checking services being used by Google in India are the same ones being used by Facebook in its efforts to fight misinformation.
Examples of content that would receive these information panels provided to Buzzfeed included the search term "CCTV footage of the Pulwama terror attack." Videos which appear in that search are tied to a bomb explosion in Syria, though some individuals have been trying to convince others they represent an attack which occurred in the recent conflict between India and Pakistan.
Inevitably, someone is going to scream censorship at this development, but it sounds like the worst thing we're going to suffer is a much-needed disclaimer that might help stop the spread of things like anti-vaxxer ignorance, which is actually and literally killing people. If you disagree, you can scroll right past it just like you can ignore the warnings on a cigarette carton.