YouTube announced a quick fix for conspiracy theory videos on the platform, which should solve the problem at least temporarily: adding Wikipedia links to debunk the theories, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said Tuesday.
If there is an important news event, we want to be delivering the right information,
Wojcicki told the audience.
She underlined that YouTube is not a news organization.
The new feature will be launched in the next months. Expect to see Wikipedia links in videos promoting conspiracy theories and issues that are very likely to spark heated debates.
For instance, there are conspiracy theories that claim that the moon landing was a hoax. Such videos will feature Wikipedia links to the historical event below for extra info. The links will appear in every video having the moon landing topic, be it a documentary or a conspiracy theory.
Conspiracy Theory Videos Will Not Vanish Overnight
YouTube described the links to Wikipedia as ‘information cues’ designed to help users make informed decisions on the validity of the videos. The only problem is that no one can guarantee that Wikipedia’s content is 100% accurate on controversial topics.
YouTube acknowledged that the new feature will not solve the conspiracy theory issue overnight. The company believes that the links are a necessary first small step to address the problem. The platform also wants to offer more info on the videos uploaded on it.
Still, Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, and editors have often engaged in stellar bipartisan battles over controversial topics. So, YouTube will find it hard to ensure that the information in the suggested pages is factually correct.
Wikipedia acknowledged that it is not 100% reliable and even published a list of hoaxes that Wikipedia editors had believed to be true. Also, for breaking news is extremely hard to find a link to Wikipedia since pages about a shooting, for instance, need a few days to be written and vetted.
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