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Media Literacy

YouTube tests “Tips on Media Skills” as advertising before videos


In a new YouTube experiment, 15-second ads on “media literacy” are occasionally played in front of videos in order to “stimulate critical thinking”.

YouTube has updated its support page, which lists many of the different experiments the video provider is currently trying, and added details on a new experiment on “media literacy”. For those selected for the experiment, which is currently limited to US viewers of selected videos, YouTube will play a short 15-second video that offers useful tips on how to know what information to trust online, rather than one Advertising. Like many YouTube ads, this promotion can be skipped.

So far, Google has only shared one specific video from its media literacy campaign asking the viewer to check the source of an information and then decide whether to trust that source – especially if it is an “authority” on the subject ” – before you decide to trust the information yourself.


Currently, YouTube media literacy ads are only shown before “a random sample” of videos, and Google has made it clear that those ads that appear before a particular video are “not an assessment” of the channel or the video itself. Depending on the course of the first experiment, YouTube will consider the possibility of expanding the program further.

Testing ways to help people evaluate information online: We’re experimenting with ways to stimulate critical thinking while consuming information online. This little experiment offers media literacy tips in the form of skippable 15-second ads that appear before a video (it looks like this). Note: These tips are presented before a random selection of videos in the US and are not intended as a judgment on videos. We will consider expanding these efforts based on test feedback.

Given that these new media literacy videos are referred to as “skippable ads,” it is likely that these public announcement-style videos will not be seen by those with a YouTube Premium subscription.

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