YouTube will now “fact check” US search queries, expanding a feature tried in other countries last year in an effort to eradicate “misinformation” about Covid-19 – but some netizens are seeing hints of Orwell in the project.

The video-sharing giant rolled out the new feature on Tuesday, announcing that its “fact check information panels” will now appear on American searches, in which “authoritative sources” will show up below the search bar to correct claims that YouTube deems suspect.

“We’re now using these panels to help address an additional challenge: misinformation that comes up quickly as part of a fast-moving news cycle, where unfounded claims and uncertainty about facts are common,” the platform said in a statement, citing unverified claims that Covid-19 is a “bio-weapon” as an example.

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