Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Health | By Jay Jacobs

YouTube Turning To Wikipedia To Help Combat Conspiracy Videos

YouTube Turning To Wikipedia To Help Combat Conspiracy Videos

She underlined that YouTube is not a news organization.

YouTube, which has faced a barrage of brand safety controversies in recent months, will turn to the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia in an effort to dilute the influence of conspiracy-driven videos on its platform.

The new features, which will be rolled out in the coming months, are part of a range of new initiatives that YouTube is considering to eradicate misinformation from the platform. Wojcicki says that, in the case of the moon landing, for example, both conspiracy videos and documentaries would have the link.

However, simply placing links to verified information alongside conspiracy clips doesn't mean that users will actually click on them.

Susan Wojcicki, speaking on stage at the South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas, displayed a mock-up of the new feature, which are called information cues.

YouTube will determine what exactly qualifies as a conspiracy, she said, based on a list of conspiracy theories on the Internet, such as arguments that NASA faked the 1969 moon landing. YouTube's recommendation algorithm itself, additionally, has been shown to push viewers down rabbit holes of the most vile, radical content regardless of political affiliation. But it generally provides a more neutral, empirical approach to understanding conspiracies than the more sensationalist videos that appear on YouTube.

YouTube was slammed after its algorithm promoted conspiracy theories in the wake of shootings in Las Vegas and Florida.

YouTube described the links to Wikipedia as "information cues" created to help users make informed decisions on the validity of the videos.

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