In an effort to ensure that the latest news and information about the novel coronavirus pandemic reaches as many people as possible, YouTube has launched a dedicated hub on its homepage for stories related to the outbreak. In a tweet a few hours earlier, the company said that it wants “everyone to have access to authoritative content during this trying time, so we’re launching a COVID-19 news shelf on our homepage“.
The feature is only available in 16 countries to start off with, including in the US, but YouTube says that it will be expanded to more regions in the coming days. As can be seen in the embedded tweet below, most of the videos available on the COVID-19 hub on YouTube US are informational and safety guidelines posted by the country’s leading national public health institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
We want everyone to have access to authoritative content during this trying time, so we’re launching a COVID-19 news shelf on our homepage in 16 countries. We’ll expand to more countries, as well. pic.twitter.com/nivKDZ2mHo
— YouTubeInsider (@YouTubeInsider) March 19, 2020
In India, YouTube does not yet have a dedicated COVID-19 hub, but instead, is presenting a popup window offering to show authoritative info on the subject from either the WHO or the Ministry of Health (see featured image above). It’s worth noting, though, that the feature seems to be only available on the website when using a desktop, but is unavailable either on the Android app or on the mobile site when we checked.
With the COVID-19 crisis officially declared a pandemic by the WHO, online platforms and social media sites are working overtime to get rid of misinformation, rumors and conspiracy theories about the pandemic from their platforms. Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit and Microsoft joined hands last week to release a joint statement, announcing a commitment to weed out unverified information and diabolical fearmongering on their respective platforms.