YouTube will add Wikipedia snippets to conspiracy videos

You Tube says it will soon use Wikipedia to help fight videos that promote conspiracy theories and misinformation

You Tube says it will soon use Wikipedia to help fight videos that promote conspiracy theories and misinformation

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki described the new feature during a session Tuesday at South by Southwest with Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of Wired. "When there are videos that are focused around something that's a conspiracy - and we're using a list of well-known internet conspiracies from Wikipedia - then we will show a companion unit of information from Wikipedia showing that here is information about the event", Wojcicki said.

This appears to be the latest development in YouTube's previously stated mission to deal with fake news being peddled on its platform. 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.

Even Wikipedia acknowledges it's not best equipped to handle breaking news events: "Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia, not a newspaper.as 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".

Wojcicki was also asked about why it can place an outright ban on hateful content - like videos published by neo-Nazi groups - but not on videos that are untrue. "What I like about this unit is that it's actually pretty extensible", she said. That's the way it is.

A YouTube spokesperson told CNBC that the information cues initiative is part of broader efforts to tackle the proliferation of misinformation on the site.