Two of the world’s leading crowd-sourced platforms are teaming up to fight fake news
Prasid BanerjeeMar 14, 2018, 05.11 PM
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YouTubewill display links to Wikipediaarticles alongside known conspiracy theory videos.
- It’s unclear what other sources will be used to flag conspiratorial content.
- Can this help in tackling the growing problem of fake news on YouTube?
These "information cues" will be displayed alongside content that has been flagged to be conspiratorial. It is unclear whether YouTube plans to make it a norm across the platform in the future.
What will it look like?
Alternatively, Google also shows a " fact check" tag on search results, which can perhaps be a pointer for how Wikipedia links will be displayed alongside videos.
Wikipedia to the rescue
It's unclear what other sources YouTube plans to add in the future, but what's perhaps clear is Wikipedia can't be enough. By its own admission, Wikipedia is a crowd-sourced encyclopedia. "Wikipedia is written collaboratively by largely anonymous volunteers who write without pay. Anyone with Internet access can write and make changes to Wikipedia articles, except in limited cases where editing is restricted to prevent disruption or vandalism. Users can contribute anonymously, under a pseudonym, or, if they choose to, with their real identity," the company says on its About page.
While Wikipedia is indeed a hugely popular website on the Internet, considering it a factual source can be dangerous. Here is Wikipedia's own page for hoaxes on...well...Wikipedia.
To its credit, Wikipedia actively tries to track hoaxes, but it also admits that "many hoaxes remain undiscovered". YouTube's effort though cannot be ignored here. While the company has used AI to monitor and remove extremist content, it had largely remained silent on how it manages to tackle the spread of misinformation on the platform.