YouTube has announced that it’s expanding its labels on videos from authoritative health sources to three more regions, while it will also prioritize links to these clips in local searches related to health concerns.
As shown in these examples, videos from recognized health sources in Brazil, India and Japan will now include an ‘accredited hospital’ or similar notifier, providing additional assurance and endorsement of the content.
Additionally, YouTube will also add a new ‘health content shelf’ at the top of the results page in each region, which will link to content from these recognized sources.
YouTube first launched these new health tools in the US last year, amid a rise in people seeking authoritative information about COVID-19. The tools give priority to content from officially recognized sources – in this case, as identified by The World Health Organization and NAM – but they don’t limit the results user see, as such. That means that users will still be able to find health info from a range of providers, but ideally, these official labels and promoted clips will help to reduce the spread of harmful misinformation in the app.
It’s an important push, especially amid the pandemic, with many people turning to YouTube for information, on a range of topics. The platform has been identified as a key source of conspiracy ‘rabbit holes’ in the past, with its video recommendations sometimes taking users into questionable territory, without them necessarily even realizing, while YouTube has also been identified as a focal platform for anti-vaxxers to spread their messaging, which can sometimes help them evade tougher restrictions on such in other apps.
For its part, YouTube has banned COVID misinformation on its platform, and has enhanced its detection and enforcement. But even so, it continues to be a source of referral links for related content, and any additional steps it can take to dilute the influence of such will help.
YouTube hasn’t provided any info on the effectiveness of the labels in the US, but the expansion suggests that it is seeing results.
YouTube further notes that it will look to expand the program to more countries ‘in the coming months’.
Elon Musk’s Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots
Okay, let’s just check in on the latest with the Twitter/Elon Musk takeover saga, and where things are placed to close out the week.
According to the latest reports, Musk’s team recently asked Twitter for more tweet info, in order to help it make an accurate assessment of bot activity in the app. This comes after Musk questioned Twitter’s claim that bots and fake accounts make up only 5% of its active user base, and said that his Twitter takeover deal could not go ahead unless Twitter could produce more evidence to support this figure.
Which Twitter did, by providing Musk with access to its ‘full firehose’ of tweets over a given period, which it shared with Musk’s team back on June 8th. Musk’s group has now had that data for a couple of weeks, but this week, it said that this info is not enough to go on, and that it needs even more insight from Twitter to make its judgment.
And after initially resisting calls for more data access, Twitter has now reportedly relented and handed over more tweet data access to Musk’s team.
Which may or may not be a concern, depending on how you see it.
In its initial data dump, Twitter reportedly gave Musk’s team info on:
- Total user tweets (within a given time period)
- Data on which devices were used
As noted, Musk’s team says that this has not provided it with the insight that it needs to conduct an accurate analysis of potential bot activity, so Twitter has now provided Musk with more ‘real-time API data’.
It’s not clear whether that means that Twitter has provided everything that its API systems can provide, but that could mean that Musk’s team can now access:
- Real-time info on tweet text and visual elements/attachments
- Data on retweets, replies, and quote Tweets for each
- Data on tweet author, mentioned users, tagged locations, hashtag and cashtag symbols, etc
- Date, time, location, device info
That should satisfy any analytical needs to uncover potential bot trends, and get a better handle on Twitter’s bot problem, though it also means that Musk has all your tweet info – which, again, it’s worth noting, Twitter up till now had been hesitant to provide.
I’m sure it’s fine. Musk’s team is beholden to disclosure laws around such, so it’s not like they can do anything much with that info anyway, in a legal sense. But the idea that the sometimes erratic Elon Musk now has all the tweets could be a little concerning for some.
But Twitter likely had to provide what it can, and if Musk is going to become CEO of the app soon anyway, he’s going to have access to all of that data either way.
Should be fine. No problems – no need to go deleting all your DMs (which are likely not included in the data that Twitter has provided at this stage).
According to reports, Musk’s team says that it now has the info it needs to make its assessment of bot activity, which should see the deal move forward (or not) sometime soon.
Of course, no one knows what exactly is going to happen next, and whether Musk’s team will look to renegotiate, or even back out of the deal entirely as a result of its bot analysis. But it does seem like, one way or another, Musk will be forced to go ahead with the $44 billion transaction, with Twitter’s past bot reporting methodology already accepted by the SEC, giving it legal grounding to argue that it’s acted in good faith, regardless of what Musk’s team finds.
The next steps then, according to Musk, would be securing debt financing and gaining Twitter shareholder approval, clearing the last hurdles for Musk to change the app’s name to ‘Telsla Social’, and add a million references to ‘420’ into the platforms various terms and conditions.
Because of the memes, because weed jokes are still funny to the richest man in the world – because he vacillates between inspired genius and a massive nerd who now gets to play out some fantasy of being cool.
Or something. Who knows what goes on in Elon Musk’s head – which is also why most are hesitant to bet against him, as nobody knows if and how he might be able to fix Twitter, and whether this is a great investment or a massive disaster.
It seems like we may soon find out. Maybe. Who knows. Either way, the memes should be great.
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