YouTube Adds Community Notes Feature for Users to Comment on Videos

YouTube added a new exploratory feature that allows users to make notes on videos, which could be used to clarify content posted on the platform.

“Starting today, we are testing an experimental feature to allow people to add notes to provide relevant, timely, and easy-to-understand context on videos,” YouTube wrote in a blog post on Monday. “For example, this could include notes that clarify when a song is meant to be a parody, point out when a new version of a product being reviewed is available, or let viewers know when older footage is mistakenly portrayed as a current event.”

The first version of the feature is available in the U.S. and in English. YouTube said it expects some mistakes will surface in during the feature’s pilot trial period.

“During this test phase, we anticipate that there will be mistakes – notes that aren’t a great match for the video, or potentially incorrect information – and that’s part of how we’ll learn from the experiment,” the blog post reads. “Viewers, participants, and creators are invited to give us feedback on the quality of notes, and we’ll look at ways to improve over time, including whether it makes sense to expand the feature.”

For now, selected YouTubers will be granted note-making privileges. Chosen contributors will be invited through email or via a notification in the Creator Studio section of their YouTube account. Eligibility for contributors is determined by the status of their YouTube.

As far as how the notes look, they’ll appear underneath a vide if the notes are seen “broadly helpful.”

“People will be asked whether they think a note is ‘helpful,’ ‘somewhat helpful,’ or ‘unhelpful’ and why – for example, whether it cites high-quality sources or is written clearly and neutrally,’ the post continued. From there, we’ll use a bridging-based algorithm to consider these ratings and determine what notes are published.”

The new update comes as misinformation, disinformation and malinformation online continues to be a budding conversation, especially as the 2024 presidential election inches nearer and people continue to outline what’s true and isn’t true online coming from politicians.

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