YouTube Test Community ‘Notes’ Feature For Added Context

Google’s YouTube is to introduce a feature called Notes that allows selected users to add context to a video, such as clarifying if a song is meant as a parody or old footage is mistakenly presented as a current event.

Only a “limited number” of users will intially be able to add the notes, which will be independently evaluated and rated for how helpful they are, and the ratings will be used to train YouTube’s note evaluation algorithm over the coming months.

Notes that are considered helpful will be highlighted in a box beneath a video, the company said.

Later in the pilot programme the platform plans to ask viewers whether they consider a note helpful and to explain why, with the information used to further train the system to determine whether a note is “broadly helpful”.

Notes rated helpful will appear beneath a video. Image credit: YouTube


YouTube said any wrong information will be “part of how we’ll learn from the experiment”.

Initially the system is to be displayed to US users in English.

Google last year introduced a way for users to annotate search results, but this is only available as an opt-in feature through Google Search Labs.

Twitter, now X, in 2021 introduced a feature called Birdwatch, later renamed Community Notes, that similarly provides context to posts.

Social media platforms have been placed under increasing pressure to curb misinformation that tends to spread rapidly through such platforms.

Following his acquisition of Twitter in late 2022, Elon Musk gutted the platform’s teams dedicated to ensuring safety and the Community Notes feature became a more important way for the company to manage misleading content.


In Europe, the EU’s Digital Services Act and the UK’s Online Safety Act both place stricter content controls on social media platforms.

In December the EU targeted X with its first DSA probe after the law took effect earlier in the year.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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