• Google placed a dedicated COVID-19 news panel on the YouTube homepage which houses authoritative content about the pandemic.
  • The new panel has gone live in 16 countries, and will be placed under the Recommended videos section.
  • The COVID-19 news panel includes the latest videos from various reputable news sources and is meant to reduce the spread of fake news.
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Google is building a nationwide COVID-19 information site that should also include details about screening and testing locations, but the resource isn’t available to the public yet. But that’s not the only thing Google is doing to improve access to accurate information about the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the past few weeks, Google has been policing coronavirus content on YouTube to prevent misinformation from going viral. You may have seen banners appearing on the video streaming site that pointed you to genuine COVID-19 information. Google is now ready to step up those efforts by making a huge change to the YouTube homepage. A COVID-19 news shelf has gone live in 16 countries, and you should start seeing it soon.

Google confirmed the move on its official Twitter account for YouTube, where it posted a preview of what the new COVID-19 section will look like on the mobile version of the site:

“We want everyone to have access to authoritative content during this trying time, so we’re launching a COVID-19 news shelf on our homepage in 16 countries. We’ll expand to more countries, as well,” Google said.

It’s unclear what those 16 countries are, but 9to5Google points out that the service has gone live in the UK, US, and Canada for the time being.

If you’re in one of the countries where the update has gone live, you’ll find the COVID-19 news section on the homepage, placed right under the Recommended video feed. In it, you should see featured news about some of the latest developments. Sources include, but aren’t limited to, ABC News, BBC News, Bloomberg, CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, and NBC News, as seen in the following screenshot.

Image source: YouTube

A refresh brings up new clips and randomizes the order of the existing ones.

The COVID-19 section will likely vary depending on the country, of course, but what’s important during this period of turmoil is to get your news from reputable sources, rather than falling for sites that deal in misinformation and conspiracy theories. Spending more time at home will not be an easy thing to do for some people, but quick access to entertainment and news should make the following months easier to bear.

Separately, YouTube has joined Netflix and announced it will reduce video quality in Europe to help reduce the strain on networks caused by increased traffic from the millions of people staying at home.

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.