Youtube will use Wikipedia to combat conspiracy theories

At SXSW, YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki revealed that the site is pairing up with Wikipedia to try and curb the spread of conspiracy theory videos.

YouTube did say that Wikipedia could be one of many third-party resources for the new tool, it still shows a company that is not willing to engage on a more meaningful level with the risky content it profits from. "We announced plans to show additional information cues, including a text box linking to third-party sources around widely accepted events, like the moon landing", a YouTube spokesperson told Fox News.

YouTube will add information from Wikipedia to videos about popular conspiracy theories to provide alternative viewpoints on controversial subjects, its CEO said today. She didn't provide a specific timeline for when the new features would roll out.

YouTube will not block any conspiracy-theory content, however, unless it runs afoul of the video platform's community guidelines.

In late February, following the school shooting in Florida, it promoted a video to the No. 1 trending spot which claimed survivor David Hogg, 17, was a paid "crisis actor."

YouTube has delivered "strikes" to a number channels, such as the platform's most prominent conspiracy theory creators Alex Jones and InfoWars, for spreading misinformation about the shooting.

While YouTube turned to Wikipedia for answers, the website itself has noted that it is not always the most reliable source, especially when dealing with breaking news. So, YouTube will find it hard to ensure that the information in the suggested pages is factually correct. In another portion of her address, Wojcicki intimated that though YouTube would offer context, it should not be responsible for delineating the nature of the truth.

According to Wojcicki, the informative pop-ups will appear between the video and the video title and description, giving the information prominent placement as the viewer watches the video.

However, there's just one problem: Wikipedia had no say in YouTube's decision. It is not the Wikipedia is bad. Meanwhile, the underlying issues on both platforms persist, resisting all attempts at eradication. "There are a handful of debunking videos in the data".

Vanessa Coleman

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