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YouTube to display Wikipedia 'facts' alongside conspiracy videos

14 March 2018

YouTube, which has faced a barrage of brand safety controversies in recent months, will turn to the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia in an effort to dilute the influence of conspiracy-driven videos on its platform.

"People can still watch the videos, but then they have access to additional information", she said during the talk, which was moderated by Wired EIC Nicholas Thompson.

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"Our goal is to start with a list of conspiracies around the internet where there's a lot of active discussion", she said, according to Bloomberg.

For instance, there are conspiracy theories that claim that the moon landing was a hoax.

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The move comes weeks after YouTube was criticized for letting a conspiracy theory video about last month's mass shooting in Parkland, Florida take the top spot in its "Trending" section. YouTube eventually pulled the video for violating its policies. 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.

"We will show as a companion unit next to the video information from Wikipedia showing information about the event", said the company's CEO, Susan Wojcicki, on stage at the film and technology festival SXSW.

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Wojcicki used several examples, including videos about the moon landing and chemtrails when describing the type of content that would get Wikipedia links. Furthermore, Wojcicki has stated that other sources of information will also be added aside from Wikipedia.

YouTube to display Wikipedia 'facts' alongside conspiracy videos