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YouTube Will Put Disclaimers On State-Funded Broadcasts To Fight Propaganda (arstechnica.com) 126

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: YouTube's latest strategy to fight the spread of misinformation involves putting a disclaimer on videos from certain news sources. The online video website announced it will start labeling videos posted by state-funded broadcasters to alert viewers that the content is, in some part, funded by a government source. YouTube will begin labeling videos today, and the policy extends to outlets including the US's Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the Russian government broadcaster RT. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, PBS videos will now have the label "publicly funded American broadcaster," while RT will have this disclaimer: "RT is funded in whole or in part by the Russian government." The new policy is YouTube's way of informing viewers about where the content they're watching is coming from, a piece of information often hidden or left unsought by the viewers themselves. "The principle here is to provide more information to our users, and let our users make the judgment themselves, as opposed to us being in the business of providing any sort of editorial judgment on any of these things ourselves," YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan told the WSJ.
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YouTube Will Put Disclaimers On State-Funded Broadcasts To Fight Propaganda

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  • by ruddk ( 5153113 )

    I will take a "funded by my mom, from my moms basement"!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      yo momma's so big she's a nation-state
    • Problem is it's actually quite close to the truth. You don't necessarily need "fake" news, you just take spin and extreme news and saturate social media with it until dissent is overwhelmed. How? Hire a large number of low-wage people to work (possibly from home) to spread the articles that you want spread.
  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Friday February 02, 2018 @05:43PM (#56058437)

    According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, PBS videos will now have the label "publicly funded American broadcaster," while RT will have this disclaimer: "RT is funded in whole or in part by the Russian government."

    Though mainstream media in the US aren't directly funded by the US government, they get favors from time to time. Otherwise how would one explain the fact that *all* mainstream media basically regurgitated the government's position in previous [unfortunate and unnecessary] wars?

    These are wars that are continuing to some degree even as I write this. After causing chaos, mayhem, confusion in distant lands, the US basically stated, "It's not our problem."

    Just ask the Europeans who now have to deal with the refugee influx by what our leaders caused with no checks from the media whatsoever!!!

    • According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, PBS videos will now have the label "publicly funded American broadcaster," while RT will have this disclaimer: "RT is funded in whole or in part by the Russian government."

      Though mainstream media in the US aren't directly funded by the US government, they get favors from time to time. Otherwise how would one explain the fact that *all* mainstream media basically regurgitated the government's position in previous [unfortunate and unnecessary] wars?

      Not only that, but will videos/ads created by companies that are owned (in whole or in part) by their governments be similarly labeled? I'm thinking of Deusche Telekom, British Telecom (though it is no longer directly owned by the UK.gov), PetroBras, PDVSA (Petroleos de Venezuela). Sure, they aren't media companies, but what is to stop them from producing "propaganda" that suits their ends?

      Also what makes government-funded propaganda so much worse than corporate or political party or any other s

    • ...how would one explain the fact that *all* mainstream media basically regurgitated the government's position in previous [unfortunate and unnecessary] wars?

      The United States is an oligarchy and those media conglomerates that promoted the war have financial ties to the military/industrial complex.

    • 'they get favors' can not explain the degree of compliance. Modern media are businesses that follow their business interests. And that means they should get along with governments, advertizers, owners and they should not make themselves unpopular by associating themselves with things that are not cool or suspicious. They can make some room for courageous truthtelling , but only very carefully and people who suit the business model will make careers. People who are stubbornly pursuing truth will not make a c

  • Now we just need... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mysidia ( 191772 )

    Disclaimers on SPECIAL-INTEREST/ACTIVIST GROUP funded broadcasts and also CORPORATE funded broadcasts.

    Also, Comments made to government officials by people being paid by a corporation should be required to contain a disclaimer identifying the relationship and whether they are being paid in general, or whether they are being paid to influence government officials, And any comment to a town hall or regulatory body's comment process paid for by a corporation must begin with disclaimer "This comment is a

  • People don't trust CNN, MSNBC, etc because they lie fucking constantly. If you start saying all the guys not lying are foreign government sponsored people will just start to like those governments.
    • I know this is probably a lost concept on you, but the idea here is that people will be more capable of admitting to themselves that they are being lied to if they can correlate advertisements with known motives.

    • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )

      People don't trust CNN, MSNBC, etc because they say things that don't help my favorite political party fucking constantly

      FTFY

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Just have a dictatorship, monarchy, theocracy invite a "private sector" broadcaster to do their news in nice locations. Nice news about holidays, sport, art and animals.
      A 100% private sector logo that is 100% gov approved and ready for social media.
      No direct gov funding but the private sector broadcaster had a lot of ad buys from that gov for "tourism".
      So many ways to use front companies or just offer direct for the private sector.
      Will every social media clip have to divulge who allowed them to a na
    • People don't trust CNN, MSNBC, etc because they lie fucking constantly. If you start saying all the guys not lying are foreign government sponsored people will just start to like those governments.

      Back to Infowars for you, BillyBob!

    • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Saturday February 03, 2018 @05:25AM (#56061049) Journal

      People don't trust CNN, MSNBC, etc because they lie fucking constantly

      Funny thing is the kind of people who say that kind of thing seem to prefer Breitbart and even Infowars.

      Which is ironic.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Fuck off Ivan! RT lies about everything!

  • We finally remember the word for "fake news"... Propaganda

    • We finally remember the word for "fake news"... Propaganda

      The best propaganda is based on real news, and works by hiding other information.

      For instance: "dictator X is evil, we must send our army to overthrow him", while in the same time, government support many other evil dictators, and bombs will mostly harm innocent people instead of dictator X.

  • I've seen more politics on HGTV than I have seen on PBS. It's rather preposterous to claim that PBS is pushing some sort of political agenda. Their news coverage is arguably the least politically biased of any network that you can watch in the US.
    • I think that is called honesty. A foreign concept we are not used to.
    • I've seen more politics on HGTV than I have seen on PBS. It's rather preposterous to claim that PBS is pushing some sort of political agenda. Their news coverage is arguably the least politically biased of any network that you can watch in the US.

      So much this! I listen to and watch many news sources, and PBS is definitely the most even handed. I'll hit The three majors, MSNBC CNN, RT, BBC, and even Brietbart. The main reason is that ther eis a lot of news in the world, and not all can be covered, so the very choice of reportage is going to have a little bias.

      I occasionally watch Fox, but I consider that as base entertainment, along the level of Here Comes Honey BooBoo and RuPaul's drag race Superstars. I also have some concerns about who they a

      • I'd say that C-SPAN is the most even-handed network. They also happen to be the least opinionated as well. I've been listening to C-SPAN radio for more than a decade, and I can't remember even one time when I heard a host utter a personal opinion. They must put those hosts through some kind of major league boot camp for not letting callers get under their skin.

        • I'd say that C-SPAN is the most even-handed network. They also happen to be the least opinionated as well. I've been listening to C-SPAN radio for more than a decade, and I can't remember even one time when I heard a host utter a personal opinion. They must put those hosts through some kind of major league boot camp for not letting callers get under their skin.

          Like an idiot - I forgot to mention getting info from C-Span too.

    • Agree. PBS is not "state-sponsored" in the sense that the state gets a say in what is broadcast. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is the funding vehicle for PBS and other non-profit broadcasters. The Corporation was created by the federal government and is required to be nonpolitical and nonpartisan by law (see https://www.law.cornell.edu/us... [cornell.edu])

      My impression is that PBS is a bit left-leaning, but they scrupulously present many different points of view in their news coverage. They certainly aren't par

  • We've seen a lot of those politically correct moves by Alphabet pushed via their various products. They even locked down private documents in drive which seemed to the parsing algorithm, AI for the rest, that it had racist content.
    You cannot trust people with internet, they are too stupid, inb4 "your to stupid", to recognize what's targeted and what's not, so they say let's start flagging what we don't like. Beware little person, Russia Today is propaganda, our beloved Hillary lost to sum damn drank adidas
  • Wait a minute (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Friday February 02, 2018 @06:55PM (#56058933) Journal

    Are they saying there's a difference between government propaganda and corporate propaganda (advertising)? That's a bit off I would say...

    • Yeah, one convinces you to buy shit you don't need. The other convinces you there's nothing wrong with slaughtering hundreds of thousands of people on the other side of the globe with drone strikes and forced starvation. That you think there is some moral equivalence between the two shows how effective the state's propaganda machine is.
      • one convinces you... The other convinces you...

        Do you see the equivalence yet? If not, then I guess you're right. The propaganda really does work.

        • Are you saying it takes the same level of convincing you to get you to spend money as it does to convince you to condone mass murder? That those two things are some how in the same universe?

    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

      Ads are much more controlled than government propaganda. For example there are already disclaimers when a video contains ads in addition to the obvious "ad" slot. Also, companies can get punished when they go too far (ex: outright lies).

  • It's your own personal responsibility to consider everything critically, and the the wisdom to separate the bullshit fro the value. This used to be taught in public school. I suppose educators prefer when the kids DON'T ask tough critical questions.

    Story-time:

    I recently attended "Science night" At my Sons Jr. High. (It was really disappointing, nothing of note) my biggest takaway was the disgust I felt when I overheard what I assume to be a history teacher discussing womens suffrage. I'm paraphrasing...

    Teac

    • I assume that was a pretty sharp kid, I'm certain he knew the answer to that question, and he asked it on purpose to mess with the teacher. I think the teacher knew too. That's a single kid thinking critically out of the whole damngaggle.

      No it's not. It's a kid sticking two dates together to troll the teacher. Now trolling teachers is a mighty fine activity and something I enjoyed greatly in my youth, but it's not the same as critical thinking.

      If you like glibness, remember alcohol was banned by the 18th a

  • I wish Youtube would go back to being normal old youtube and stop trying to be the morality police. I don't know of a single category of youtuber who hasn't been complaining about the censorship and demonetization going on over there. It's not just a political thing, it's gamers and travel vloggers too. They've all been impacted.

    Everyone gets that we're watching subjective opinions on youtube. Here's a hint, there is no authoritative unbiased source of information on anything. Everyone should be skeptical o

  • Imagine the labels Hillary or the Donald would have been covered with.
  • Because no government has ever funded something surreptitiously, sending the money through five offshore bank accounts and a dozen shell companies before it arrives at the intended recipient. No sirree, that has never happened in the entirety of modern history. So this move by YouTube will completely expose government-funded propaganda.

    This is gonna backfire massively. The honest and "open" governments will get their content flagged as state-funded propaganda. The dishonest and lying governments will
  • They need a disclaimer. $20 Million from the Clinton camp and now they spew out mostly propaganda and damage-control.

    Also add MSNBC for sure -- this channel is nothing but propaganda, and CNN should have a disclaimer on who's paying them to push what narrative.
  • It's what's not said that matters. YouTube could publish harmless cat videos until the end of time while neglecting the important stories. This form of state funded broadcasting is just as insideous as videos of in your face propaganda.

    Trust the goolag...

  • It's remarkable how easy the transition was from fake news to anything that can be linked to Russia.
    As far as I can see fake news started off as stuff pulled out of thin air without any background, and presented as news. From there to 'competing narratives' is a big step. Now Russia Today is fullfilling a role Voice of America used to play: give a voice to dissidents that don't get a voice in their own country. In that respect for an eastern european VoA was sometimes the best source of information availabl

  • The problem is not so much propaganda that can readily be identified as state-sponsored, but propaganda that is paid for (often in difficult-to-trace ways) by people (not necessarily state actors) with a vested interest in pushing a political agenda. Something like the "this message is paid for by..." on TV would be good, though the latter is increasingly powerless against ingenious funding schemes and lax regulation...

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp

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