YouTube to work with Wikipedia to curb conspiracy theories

Wednesday, 14 Mar, 2018

YouTube will flag conspiracy theory videos with additional information from Wikipedia in an effort to tackle the spread of disinformation on its platform.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki described the new feature during a session Tuesday at South by Southwest with Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of Wired.

The information cues that Wojcicki demonstrated appeared directly below the video as a short block of text, with a link to Wikipedia for more information.

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.

The Reuters report stated that YouTube intends to present an alternative viewpoint to videos questioning science or describing conspiracies about events such as the U.S. moon landing. After the school shooting in Parkland, Florida earlier this year, a video that theorized that one of the survivors was a crisis actor made it into YouTube's Trending section.

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

YouTube, like other tech giants Facebook and Twitter, has long made the distinction that it is not a media organization, and thus bears less responsibility for the content on its platform.

YouTube, part of Alphabet Inc.'s Google, has faced months of scrutiny for inappropriate and misleading information on the site.