YouTube will accompany conspiracy theory videos with links to Wikipedia to better inform viewers, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference on Tuesday in Austin, Texas.
“If there is actually an important news event, we want to be delivering the right information,” Wojcicki said on stage. She qualified which by saying, “we are not a news organization.”
The feature will roll out within the coming months. The Wikipedia links will not appear solely on conspiracy-related videos, yet will instead show up on topics along with events which have inspired significant debate. A YouTube spokesperson used videos about the moon landing (a historical topic with many conspiracy theories surrounding which) as an example along with noted which moon landing videos would likely appear with Wikipedia links below to provide additional information, regardless of whether the video was a documentary or a video alleging the landing was staged.
The spokesperson told BuzzFeed News which the completely new information via Wikipedia, which the company has dubbed “information cues,” is actually not meant to be seen as a full-scale solution to a complex problem. Instead, the company suggested which which is actually just a first little step in a series of announcements to come over the next year about the company’s efforts to provide more information about videos on its platform.
Wikipedia is actually a crowdsourced digital encyclopedia — anyone can edit which — along with editors sometimes engage in fierce partisan battles over divisive topics. which remains unclear how YouTube will ensure factual accuracy of suggested pages. The reliability of Wikipedia’s information has been disputed in the past, as detailed on the encyclopedia’s page about its own reliability along with its catalogue of hoaxes which have appeared there.
Similarly unclear is actually how “informational cues” might work for breaking news events, where subjects involved may not have a complete or even partial Wikipedia presence.
YouTube has struggled with how to handle conspiracy videos on its platform. Just yesterday, YouTube surfaced conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ video on a search for “Austin explosions” in relation to the exploding packages which killed two people within the Texas capital.
along with in February, a video claiming which a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting was a “crisis actor” topped YouTube’s Trending chart. The video received 0,000 views along with spawned copies before YouTube removed which. A researcher found a network of thousands of conspiracy theory videos on the platform within the same month.
“which’s already tipped in favor of the conspiracists, I think,” the researcher, Jonathan Albright, told BuzzFeed News in February.
When asked at SXSW about why YouTube can’t decide what is actually true or false yet can decide what is actually hateful, Wojcicki said, “Hatefulness is actually more clear than if something is actually true or if something is actually false.”
The Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ryan Mac is actually a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News along with is actually based in San Francisco. He reports on the intersection of money, technology along with power.
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Charlie Warzel is actually a senior writer for BuzzFeed News along with is actually based in completely new York. Warzel reports on along with writes about the intersection of tech along with culture.
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