March 23, 2018

YouTube to counter conspiracy videos by displaying information from Wikipedia alongside

14 March 2018, 07:46 | Winifred Adams

Illustration by Alex Castro The Verge

Illustration by Alex Castro  The Verge

"If there is an important news event, we want to be delivering the right information", Wojcicki said on stage.

"Our goal is to start with a list of internet conspiracies listed on the internet where there is a lot of active discussion on YouTube", YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said at SXSW, reports Wired.

YouTube videos focusing on conspiracy theories will now link to a snippet of information on the topic from Wikipedia.

For instance, there are conspiracy theories that claim that the moon landing was a hoax.

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The video-sharing platform has faced criticism from victims and survivors of mass shootings for not only failing to clamp down on disinformation, but profiting from it, since YouTube takes a cut of the revenue from advertising on all videos. However, it still provides a far more neutral and empirical approach to topics, including conspiracies, when compared to some of the opinionated extremist videos on YouTube. These cues will appear in a text box that will link to third-party websites such as Wikipedia where users can read up more on certain topics. YouTube's autoplay algorithms appear created to promote increasingly radical content, across politics and other subject areas, in an effort to keep users watching as long as possible, according to Zeynep Tufekci, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina.

YouTube's plan to incorporate Wikipedia links certainly won't solve all these problems, or neccessarily even work, given that Wikipedia pages can be edited by the public.

Do note, YouTube is the second largest search engine (next to Google) which people use to find relevant information.

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