YouTube plans 'information cues' to combat hoaxes

YouTube plans 'information cues' to combat hoaxes

As technology firms continue to try to bolster their defenses against fake news, YouTube reportedly plans to introduce information from Wikipedia articles to combat the spread of conspiracy theory videos on the platform.

Google has always been trying to address the problem of controversial YouTube content such as conspiracy theory videos, but it hasn't enjoyed much success.

Susan Wojcicki, speaking on stage at the South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas, displayed a mock-up of the new feature, which are called information cues.

According to Wojcicki, the feature is set to roll out in the coming weeks.

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For instance, there are conspiracy theories that claim that the moon landing was a hoax. YouTube removed the clip within a few hours, citing violation of its policy on harassment and bullying. After the school shooting in Parkland, Florida earlier this year, a video that theorized that one of the survivors was a crisis actor made it into YouTube's Trending section.

So, YouTube will find it hard to ensure that the information in the suggested pages is factually correct. We'll see if a small text box (among other efforts YouTube is planning) helps turn that around. At the moment, Wojcicki told WIRED editor-in-chief Nicholas Thompson, YouTube will include links alongside conspiracy theories that have garnered "significant debate" on the site.

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.

While this may not be targeting "fake news" directly, these new information cues seem to hope to provide some kind of stable information ground for viewers to have quick access to when watching videos about a variety controversial topics.

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