Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

YouTube will counter conspiracy video misinformation by adding Wikipedia info

YouTube will counter conspiracy video misinformation by adding Wikipedia info

YouTube announced a quick fix for conspiracy theory videos on the platform, which should solve the problem at least temporarily: adding Wikipedia links to debunk the theories, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said Tuesday.

"Our goal is to start with a list of conspiracies around the internet where there's a lot of active discussion", Bloomberg quoted her as saying during the South by Southwest conference in Austin.

The move comes after YouTube's recommendation engine and autocomplete feature have come under fire this year for pushing users towards conspiracy theories and other divisive content.

The Google-owned video giant's role in promoting conspiracy theories has made headlines of late. YouTube removed the clip within a few hours, citing violation of its policy on harassment and bullying. She published an op-ed on the topic in this weekend's New York Times.

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A YouTube spokesperson told CNBC that the information cues initiative is part of broader efforts to tackle the proliferation of misinformation on the site.

The feature, which will launch "in the coming months" will at first focus on "well-known" conspiracy theories that have significant debate on YouTube, for example videos suggesting that Nasa's Moon landing was a hoax. It's worth noting that Wikipedia is also an open platform and is subject to bad actors manipulating information, although the nonprofit org's website by design includes community-based controls to edit out falsehoods.

While this may not be targeting "fake news" directly, these new information cues seem to hope to provide some kind of stable information ground for viewers to have quick access to when watching videos about a variety controversial topics.

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