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    Making Freedom a Bit Tighter: YouTube Starts Labeling State-Sponsored Videos

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    YouTube will now display notices below videos uploaded by state-funded or public-funded news broadcasters, YouTube News senior product manager Geoff Samek said in an official blog post on Friday.

    The new rules introduced by the US-based video internet giant are likely to affect clips from media outlets such as RT and Sputnik. However, the new flagging policy may also be applied to other state-chartered news broadcasters such as the BBC, NHK, Voice of America and other well-known state-run media agencies.

    "Our goal is to equip users with additional information to help them better understand the sources of news content that they choose to watch on YouTube," Samek said, stressing that "News is an important vertical for us and we want to be sure to get it right."

    The official post includes an illustration of how it will eventually look like. A screen shot with a disclaimer: "RFA is funded in whole or in part by the American government" shows how the new policy will be applied.

    YouTube labels state-sponsored news
    YouTube labels state-sponsored news

    The flagging displayed under state-sponsored videos would likely also include links to Wikipedia, so that YouTube users could learn more about the agencies and broadcasters behind the posted clips, Samek said.

    However, Samek also pointed out that the new feature is nascent and will be updated in near future based on the responses from active YouTube users.

    Meanwhile, Chief Executive of YouTube Susan Wojcicki stated in an online post that this year's priorities include better enforcing rules of the popular video service.

    "The same creativity and unpredictability that makes YouTube so rewarding can also lead to unfortunate events where we need to take a clear, informed, and principled stance," Wojcicki said, adding that "We realize we have a serious social responsibility to get these emerging policy issues right."

    Thus, the number of YouTube employees whose tasks would be mainly monitoring for any violations of the uploaded content is to increase to more than 10,000, media reports say.

    "We're also currently developing policies that would lead to consequences if a creator does something egregious that causes significant harm to our community as a whole," Wojcicki said.

    Twitter, Google and Facebook have faced increased pressure from US lawmakers to be more transparent about advertisements, content and users on their platforms, after Congress and the US intelligence community accused Russia of using social networks to influence the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election.

    Moscow has repeatedly said that Russia did not interfere in any foreign states’ domestic affairs, noting such moves were against the principles of Russia's foreign policy and saying that the US allegations of meddling were unfounded.

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    disclaimer, sponsors, rules, regulations, state, YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, Geoff Samek, United States
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