YouTube to put warning labels on election-related videos

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YouTube will add labels to election-related videos starting on Election Day to warn viewers that the results of the hotly contested vote may not be final.

The move announced Tuesday is part of the Google-owned platform’s efforts to clamp down on misinformation as the contentious race between President Trump and Joe Biden enters its final week.

The “information panels,” as YouTube calls them, will appear under videos that discuss the election and at the top of search results for a broad range of election-related queries, YouTube said in a blog post. They’ll include a link to a Google election page that will compile real-time results from the Associated Press.

YouTube said it will continue promoting videos from “authoritative” news sources, such as CNN and Fox News, in search results and its “watch next” panels. It will also put links to information about how to vote at top of its homepage leading up to Election Day and information about where to vote on Election Day itself.

“Our teams have been working around the clock to make sure we have the systems and policies in place to prevent the abuse of our systems and provide access to authoritative information this election season,” Leslie Miller, YouTube’s vice president of government affairs and public policy, said in the blog post.

YouTube is the latest tech giant to take steps aimed at preventing the spread of misinformation ahead of the election amid concerns that it could take days or weeks to declare a winner, given the large number of mail-in ballots cast amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Those concerns have prompted both Google and Facebook to say they will temporarily pause political advertising after the polls close on Nov. 3. Facebook has additionally blocked new political ads in the week leading up to Election Day.

Shares in Google parent Alphabet were up 0.2 percent at $1,593.71 as of 1:25 p.m. Tuesday.

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