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YouTube will fight fake news by offering workshops to teens

A YouTube effort in the UK will teach teens to spot bogus stories.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
April 23, 2017
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Sergei Konkov/TASS via Getty Images

Google is already flagging fake news, but it knows that isn't always enough. People need to recognize what fake news is, too. To that end, its YouTube wing just launched an Internet Citizens program that will teach UK teens to spot fake news through workshops. The day-long gatherings will encourage teens to check facts, escape "social bubbles," deal with hate speech responsibly and use reporting tools. YouTube began the program in Liverpool on April 21st, but it plans to swing by youth clubs in other UK cities over the months ahead.

The workshops are hosted by veteran YouTube creators who focus on youth culture, diversity and education.

The streaming video giant certainly isn't expecting to eliminate the spread of fake news among teens just by running a handful of events. Rather, this is one piece of a larger strategy -- it's a bid to encourage both creators and concerned fans to take action when they'd otherwise sit on the sidelines. And as Wired notes, this is arguably an attempt to patch things up after YouTube's Restricted Mode inadvertently censored LGBTQ+ material. The move theoretically shows that YouTube is interested in promoting videos from a wide range of people, and that it wants to fight online hate speech whenever possible.

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