YouTube plans 'information cues' to combat hoaxes

YouTube CEO Susan

YouTube CEO Susan

Google-owned video platform YouTube is trying to combat the amount of misinformation sown by the site by linking to Wikipedia pages and other "fact-based" websites on videos that promote conspiracy theories.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki described the new feature during a session Tuesday at South by Southwest with Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of Wired.

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 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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"If there is an important news event, we want to be delivering the right information", Wojcicki said on stage. "What I like about this unit is that it's actually pretty extensible", she said.

Over the last couple of years, as people have become more concerned about the ways hoaxers, trolls and even foreign governments use the internet to spread false information, we've seen more information about YouTube's role.

The move comes as part of a broader discussion of what exactly social media platforms are responsible for in terms of content on their platforms.

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