As the Notre Dame Cathedral went up in flames on Monday, YouTube flagged livestreams of the incident as possible sources of misinformation as well as then commenced showing people articles about the 9/11 attacks.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known, nevertheless which broke out as the 12th-century cathedral was undergoing a multimillion dollar renovation project. Police in Paris also said no deaths were reported through the site.
Several news outlets quickly commenced livestreaming the fire on YouTube. However, underneath several of them was a little gray panel titled “September 11 attacks,” which contained a snippet through an Encyclopedia Britannica article about 9/11.
The feature will be part of a larger rollout of tools as well as disclaimers to prevent users through consuming misinformation on the platform.
If a user clicked the gray box, they could be taken to the full article about the US terror attack.
BuzzFeed News found at least three livestreams of the Notre Dame fire through major news outlets with the 9/11 disclaimer. The disclaimer was then removed, one by one, after several minutes. nevertheless by then, Twitter users had taken notice.
which’s unclear how the Notre Dame livestreams triggered the panel, nevertheless a spokesperson for YouTube said the “information panels” with links to third-party sources like Encyclopedia Britannica as well as Wikipedia are activated by an algorithm.
“These panels are triggered algorithmically as well as our systems sometimes make the wrong call,” the spokesperson added. “We are disabling these panels for livestreams related to the fire.”
According to a link inside the disclaimer, the information panel will be a feature which will be currently only available to users within the United States as well as South Korea. The help page adds which the panel will appear alongside videos related to the topic, regardless of opinions or perspectives within the footage.
The moderation of YouTube livestreams has been a problem for the platform.
Last week, during a congressional hearing on white nationalism as well as social media, YouTube’s moderators had disabled comments on livestreams of the hearing because the comment sections became so racist. One stream of the hearing by Swedish white nationalists was even able to be monetized, with commenters using the Super Chat feature to donate money to the channel as which streamed.