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YouTube will introduce ‘fact checking’ boxes in search results about flat earth conspiracy theories and misleading information about Covid-19 from today.

The function has been active in the US since 2018, and has been recently used to link to World Health Organisation information about the Coronavirus.

But it will be rolled out in the UK for the first time today (THU), and will link to information from BBC Reality Check, Full Fact, Ferret Fact Service, and FactCheckNI.

Fact checks will be triggered when people search for specific claims, like “are tall people more likely to catch Covid-19?”

If there is a relevant fact checking article available, it will be presented to the user alongside their search results.

Social media and wider internet platforms have been criticised over their approach to combating misinformation, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic, where a number of false claims about the virus have been able to spread across platforms.

YouTube said it hoped the initiative would help viewers make their own informed decisions about claims that they see.

Ben McOwen Wilson, Managing Director for YouTube UK said: “We are committed to protecting the YouTube community here in Britain.

“Launching our fact check information panels in the UK is one of the many steps we are taking to raise up authoritative sources, to provide relevant and authoritative context, and to continue to reduce the spread of harmful misinformation.”