YouTube will include Wikipedia info next to videos promoting conspiracy theories
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced Tuesday that the Google-owned video website will link information from Wikipedia to content in hopes that it will combat the flood of videos promoting false conspiracy theories that have plagued its service.
The move will add background information provided by Wikipedia to certain videos on YouTube, Wojcicki said during a panel at the South by Southwest tech and music festival in Austin.
Wojcicki did not disclose the number or type of conspiracy theories that will be focused upon, though the 1969 Apollo moon landing, a popular subject of baseless conspiracy theories, is referenced in the presentation.
The effort will involve text boxes, dubbed "information cues,"accompanying YouTube videos taken from the Wikipedia pages of well-known conspiracy theories. A separate link to the full page will also be included.
The move comes shortly after YouTube was criticized for promoting videos in the "trending" section of its site that claimed one of the survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida was a paid actor.
Wikipedia was apparently unaware of the plan, with a Wikimedia Foundation spokesperson telling Gizmodo "we are always happy to see people, companies, and organizations recognize Wikipedia's value as a repository of free knowledge. In this case, neither Wikipedia nor the Wikimedia Foundation are part of a formal partnership with YouTube. We were not given advance notice of the announcement."
The changes are expected to roll out within a couple of weeks.