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YouTube to start labeling videos posted by state-funded media

YouTube will now add a label to videos that come from state-funded media outlets, the Google-owned company announced ...

Posted: Feb 3, 2018 9:38 AM
Updated: Feb 3, 2018 9:38 AM

YouTube will now add a label to videos that come from state-funded media outlets, the Google-owned company announced on Friday.

A notice will appear under the videos for any outlets that received some level of government or public funding. It will also include a link to the Wikipedia article about that broadcaster for viewers to glean more information about the news source.

"News is an important and growing vertical for us and we want to be sure to get it right, helping to grow news and support news publishers on YouTube in a responsible way," Geoff Samek, senior product manager for YouTube News wrote in a blog post published on Friday. "This work follows a series of changes we made throughout 2017 to better surface authoritative news content."

Company spokespeople said some labels will appear as soon as Friday, but added that the initiative is still new and developing.

In an example on the YouTube blog, a video from Radio Free Asia -- which is funded by the US' agency, the Broadcasting Board of Governors -- includes a note with an information symbol under the video but right above the title. "RFA is funded in whole or in part by the American government," it states.

Other outlets affected include PBS and the Russian-funded network, RT.

Spokespeople for YouTube said they consulted with third-party groups to draw up the list of outlets that will receive the label. It's not clear yet whether videos from certain shows such as Sesame Street, which airs on PBS, will also be labeled on YouTube.

The spokespeople also defended its decision to direct users to Wikipedia articles about the various broadcasters. Though Wikipedia articles can be edited by anyone, the spokespeople said they trust Wikipedia's editors to present an aggregate of information about the various outlets and their funding.

YouTube, along with other internet and social media companies, have faced increasing criticism over the past year for how they selectively filter content that comes from questionable sources, and those that promote propaganda or conspiracy theories.

A spokesperson for PBS pushed back YouTube's latest move, saying labeling "PBS a 'publicly funded broadcaster' is both vague and misleading."

"PBS receives a small percentage of its funding from the federal government; the majority of funding comes from private donations," the spokesperson said. "More importantly, PBS is an independent, private, not-for-profit corporation, not a state broadcaster. YouTube's proposed labeling could wrongly imply that the government has influence over PBS content, which is prohibited by statute. If YouTube's intent is to create clarity and better understanding, this is a step in the wrong direction. We are in ongoing discussions with YouTube on this issue, but we have yet to reach a satisfactory solution."

For RT, which has 2.2 million subscribers on its YouTube channel, the label is the latest in a series of obstacles the network faces in the United States as concerns grow over Russia's meddling in American politics.

In November, the Department of Justice forced RT to register as a foreign agent after the broadcaster was singled out in a intelligence community report issued early last year about Russia's attempts to influence the 2016 US election.

RT furiously protested DOJ's decision and in retaliation, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed amendments into law, passed by the Russian parliament in November, that will list foreign media outlets in Russia as "foreign agents," which could open foreign media outlets up to harsh audits and possible closure. Russian officials also sent letters to news organizations in Russia that are backed by the US government, warning them of possible "restrictions."

RT did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

Part of Russia's new restrictions might include labeling content from American government-funded outlets like Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty and Current Time television as coming from a "foreign agent."

The BBG did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the new YouTube label.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 205154

Reported Deaths: 2730
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40141612
Washington26650247
Marion23258322
Clackamas18773234
Lane13777158
Jackson11420146
Deschutes994080
Umatilla851786
Linn551779
Klamath475377
Yamhill475079
Polk393755
Douglas379780
Malheur359763
Josephine353272
Benton324022
Jefferson235738
Coos215737
Columbia188829
Union148824
Wasco143429
Lincoln141221
Crook127623
Hood River121533
Morrow115216
Clatsop10318
Baker99315
Curry68510
Tillamook6604
Grant5487
Lake4667
Harney4239
Wallowa1945
Gilliam751
Sherman661
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3803094

Reported Deaths: 63204
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124643624433
Riverside3013294620
San Bernardino2990144788
San Diego2813133770
Orange2727455103
Santa Clara1199462177
Kern1106171400
Sacramento1073951723
Fresno1027951720
Alameda893401285
Ventura815721028
San Joaquin744191432
Contra Costa70358810
Stanislaus632661068
Tulare49758849
Monterey43804420
San Mateo42611581
San Francisco37197555
Santa Barbara34577460
Solano33625266
Merced32272474
Sonoma30688323
Imperial28800741
Placer23383299
Kings23170247
San Luis Obispo21411261
Madera16590245
Santa Cruz16206208
Marin14184229
Yolo14120212
Shasta12599232
Butte12586194
El Dorado10351116
Napa999580
Sutter9628112
Yuba646150
San Benito610263
Lassen577524
Tehama571663
Nevada488375
Humboldt443446
Mendocino428250
Tuolumne419970
Amador372147
Lake355645
Glenn242527
Siskiyou239037
Colusa227918
Calaveras220156
Del Norte14528
Inyo143438
Mono12954
Plumas7356
Modoc5344
Mariposa4647
Trinity4175
Sierra1130
Alpine890
Unassigned370
Medford
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Hi: 71° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 74°
Brookings
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Crater Lake
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Grants Pass
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Klamath Falls
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Tonight: Today was our first dry day in a while, although we can't rule out a stray shower or thunderstorm popping up in extreme northern portions of Lake or Klamath counties. Models are hinting that most of this should stay to our north, towards the Bend area. Any lingering clouds today will quickly dissipate by the evening. However, it could prove to be a breezy night in portions of Siskiyou County. Low temperatures will drop down to the upper 30s to low 40s in Northern California, the Klamath Basin, and in the Cascades. Along the coast and in the Rogue Valley, lows will be in the upper 40s to low 50s.

Tomorrow: Our Wednesday will be substantially warmer compared to our Tuesday. Relief from the heat in the form of cloud cover will be absent. High temperatures will be in the upper 80s to low 90s in the Rogue Valley and in Northern California. Highs will be in the mid 80s in the Klamath Basin, mid 70s in the Cascades, and in the upper 60s to low 70s along the coast. The breezy conditions in Siskiyou County from tonight will carry over into Wednesday, and gusts could reach 25 mph in some coastal communities as well. 

Extended: Thursday will be even hotter than Wednesday, and it'll just be a continuation of the stale weather pattern we're about to be in. Skies should remain clear for the forseeable future, and blistering heat looks to be in store for the weekend. We could be talking about high temperature in the upper 90s to triple digits in the Rogue Valley and Siskiyou County. Highs could be in the 90s in the Klamath Basin, in the 80s in the Cascades, and in the 70s along the coast.

Most of the beneficial rain that fell over the weekend was concentrated over the coast, meaning that drought conditions probably didn't improve much in the Rogue Valley and points eastward. As we stay dry and hot throughout the rest of the week, we'll be watching for the return of favorable fire conditions, especially in Lake County. The good news is that winds appear to be light towards the end of the week, which should limit the wildfire threat to some degree.

A FREEZE WARNING has been issued for our westside valleys in Jackson, Josephine and Curry Counties until 8 AM Wednesday. Low temperatures in these areas will fall down to near and even below freezing overnight. The coldest temperatures will be in the Applegate and Illinois Valley where temperatures could dip into the upper 20s. With widespread frost and possible freezing temperatures, be sure to protect and cover any sensitive plants.
Tonight: The clear and warm day will give way to a clear and mild evening. Temperatures for inland areas this evening will stay solidly in the 50s and 60s through the 8 P.M. hour, meaning this will be a near picture perfect evening for a barbecue or Wednesday evening walk. Overnight low temperatures will also stay more mild than recently, falling into the mid to upper 30s in our westside valleys with mid to upper 20s east of the Cascades. The coast will see temperatures staying in the 40s through the overnight hours. 
Extended: Beyond Wednesday, we'll see a very gradual and slow cooling trend through the rest of the workweek, but temperatures will remain above average. Easter Weekend will start off dry, but clouds will increase and by Easter Sunday, we could be looking at some chances for rain for at least parts of our region. We'll be keeping a close eye on this system and your holiday weekend forecast. It's possible wet weather could continue into next week with cooler temperatures.

Stay updated on the StormWatch 12 forecast on-air and online.

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