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YouTube to provide more context on videos about mail-in ballots

FILE PHOTO: A 3D-printed Youtube logo is seen in front of displayed "Streaming service" words in this illustration taken March 24, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

(Reuters) - Alphabet Inc’s YouTube would start showing text and links from verified sources under videos that discuss mail-in ballots as part of its efforts to curb misinformation on the platform ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November.

An information panel will be displayed on top of search results for queries related to voter registration that will redirect users to relevant information on the topic, YouTube said.

YouTube currently shows information panels for topics, including COVID-19 and moon landing.

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed without evidence that voting by mail, which is expected to increase dramatically this fall due to the coronavirus outbreak, is susceptible to large-scale fraud.

Voting by mail is not new in the United States, nearly one in four voters cast 2016 presidential ballots that way.

YouTube also said searches for 2020 presidential or federal congressional candidates would now show an information panel with details about the candidates.

Social networks such as Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc have come under fire for what has been called a lax approach to fake news reports and misinformation campaigns, which many believe affected the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

In response, the platforms have doubled down on efforts to curb fake news and misinformation in the run-up to elections.

Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Anil D’Silva

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