YouTube looks to curb conspiracy theories

Illustration by Alex Castro  The Verge

Illustration by Alex Castro The Verge

For now, these "information cues" will appear next to videos that generate significant debate on the platform.

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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 eventually pulled the video for violating its policies. Right-wing crackpots pushed videos that claimed Parkland student David Hogg - whose classmates were murdered with a legally purchased semiautomatic rifle - was a "crisis actor" pushing the liberal agenda. "I'm someone who had to witness this and live through this and I continue to be having to do that". Talking to WIRED, Wojcicki explained that YouTube will initially focus on conspiracy theories that have a lot of discussion surrounding them: chemtrails, moon landings, fluoride and similar.

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Even Wikipedia acknowledges it's not best equipped to handle breaking news events: "Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia, not a a result, our processes and principles are created to work well with the usually contemplative process of building an encyclopaedia, not sorting out the oft-conflicting and mistaken reporting common during disaster and other breaking news events". While she did not explicitly say how exactly YouTube plans to determine what is considered a conspiracy theory video, she did say that the site will be "using a list of well-known conspiracies from Wikipedia" to help it decide which videos should receive the additional information.

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