YouTube to work with Wikipedia to curb conspiracy theories

YouTube to work with Wikipedia to curb conspiracy theories

Today in Austin, Texas at the annual South by Southwest festival, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced that Google is planning several moves over the next year to tackle misinformation on the platform.

Wojcicki outlined the plan during a session Tuesday at SXSW in an on-stage interview with Wired's Nicholas Thompson.

YouTube acknowledged that the new feature will not solve the conspiracy theory issue overnight. "People can still watch the videos but then they actually have access to additional information, can click off and go and see that", she said.

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The new feature will be launched in the next months. A recent video promoting a conspiracy theory about the Parkland, Florida, school shooting was the site's top trending video for a few hours before being removed. But it generally provides a more neutral, empirical approach to understanding conspiracies than the more sensationalist videos that appear on YouTube. YouTube eventually pulled the video for violating its policies. She published an op-ed on the topic in this weekend's New York Times.

YouTube will help combat that by linking to information about the topic found on Wikipedia. During the SXSW interview, Wojcicki acknowledged the challenge of policing the world's largest internet-video service, and said YouTube would need to continue to employ human moderators to screen content in addition to automated processes.

YouTube calls these snippets "information cues", explaining that the text boxes will start showing up for viewers later on this month.

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