After sharp criticism, YouTube has made a change to its search engine, choosing to promote videos from more mainstream news outlets above fringe content. The change comes in the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, after the video site allegedly promoted conspiracy theories.
YouTube, owned by Google, confirmed the change on Thursday. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the news.
In the wake of the attack Sunday that left at least 59 dead and more than 500 people injured, some YouTube videos spread. For example, according to the Journal's report, when searching for "las vegas shooting," one video said there were multiple shooters involved, which law enforcement has refuted.
As of this writing, that same search query now yields videos from Vox, Fox News, NBC's Today and USA Today, in that order.
The tweak to YouTube's search results was previously planned, but the rollout was sped up due to the criticism. YouTube is the world's largest video site, with more than a billion visitors a month. This isn't the first time the site has gotten into trouble because of its automated systems. Earlier this year,after its ad tech placed advertisements next to extremist and hate content.
Google, YouTube's parent, faced a backlash after the Vegas shooting too. The search engine reportedly spread misinformation about the event in its "Top News" section.
Google has also been been criticized regarding false news during the 2016 election. Google is reportedly conducting an internal investigation to examine how Russian agents could have exploited its services to interfere in the election. The company has been invited by Congress to testify on a panel on the subject on Nov. 1. Google has not yet said whether it will participate.
The Smartest Stuff: Innovators are thinking up new ways to make you, and the things around you, smarter.
Tech Enabled: CNET chronicles tech's role in providing new kinds of accessibility.