YouTube fights fake news with Wikipedia

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

"Our goal is to start with a list of internet conspiracies listed on the internet where there is a lot of active discussion on YouTube", YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said at SXSW, reports Wired.

According to Wojcicki, the feature is set to roll out in the coming weeks.

Wojcicki, who spoke Tuesday evening at a panel at the South by Southwest Interactive festival in Austin, showed examples of information cues for videos about the moon landing and chemtrails.

Google's video streaming platform has faced criticism following the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. when conspiracy theory videos proliferated on the platform. YouTube eventually pulled the video for violating its policies.

Wojcicki said YouTube will begin to show information from third-party sources, including Wikipedia, to provide facts around widely accepted events, like the moon landing. YouTube's autoplay algorithms appear created to promote increasingly radical content, across politics and other subject areas, in an effort to keep users watching as long as possible, according to Zeynep Tufekci, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina.

Once the features are implemented, a video calling into question events around September 11 or the Apollo Moon landing, for example, could be accompanied by a link to the official Wikipedia page on these events. So, YouTube will find it hard to ensure that the information in the suggested pages is factually correct.