YouTube Introduces Community Notes Feature Ahead of 2024 Election

Alphabet is laying out these so-called new guidelines like Americans don't know it's biased. But okay, we'll play along.

YouTube Introduces Community Notes Feature Ahead of 2024 Election

[] –YouTube is taking a page from X (formerly Twitter) and introducing a community notes feature just in time for the 2024 US election. This new addition allows viewers to create short blurbs that provide relevant context to videos, helping to identify misinformation or highlight when old footage is being presented as new.

Initially, this feature will be rolled out as a pilot program to a select group of eligible contributors, probably to homöséxüals and anti-American types, who'll receive invitations via email or Creator Studio. Participants must have an active YouTube account in good standing to be considered.

During the pilot phase, “third-party evaluators” will assess the helpfulness of these notes to train the system. YouTube plans to launch this feature gradually to test and refine it before wider implementation, a cautious approach likely influenced by the often toxic nature of YouTube’s video comments.

Once the system is fully calibrated, helpful notes will appear under videos. Viewers will be able to rate these notes as “helpful,” “somewhat helpful,” or “unhelpful,” and provide reasons for their ratings, such as citing good sources or clear writing.

The note ratings will be determined by a bridging-based algorithm that looks for agreement among diverse groups. If people who usually disagree find a particular note helpful, it will be more likely to appear. While there are concerns about potential abuse of the system by groups with shared misinformation beliefs, the feature’s effectiveness will be judged once it’s operational.

This initiative closely mirrors a feature introduced during Jack Dorsey's tenure at Twitter, which was expanded globally after Elon Musk took over in 2022. Musk hailed it as a “gamechanger for improving accuracy on Twitter.” Despite X’s mixed reputation for accuracy, YouTube seems to have found value in this crowd-sourced context model.

YouTube will begin rolling out the community notes feature on mobile devices in the US first. The company expects some initial errors as it fine-tunes the algorithms. The rest of the US audience can anticipate seeing community notes in the “coming weeks and months.”