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YouTube will add Wikipedia snippets to conspiracy videos

CEO Susan Wojcicki says the new feature will be rolled out in the next few weeks.


Wojcicki spoke at SXSW. 

Noam Galai/ Getty

YouTube videos focusing on conspiracy theories will now link to a snippet of information on the topic from Wikipedia.

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

"This has been a year of fake news and misinformation," she said. 

YouTube will determine what exactly qualifies as a conspiracy, she said, based on a list of conspiracy theories on the Internet, such as arguments that NASA faked the 1969 moon landing.

"So YouTube will be sending people to text?" Thompson asked to some snickers from the audience.

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.

In February, Wojcicki spoke at the Code Media Conference in Huntington Beach, California, and addressed some of the tumult surrounding who YouTube boots off the platform and who it doesn't. For example, YouTube star Logan Paul, who shot a controversial video in Japan's so-called suicide forest in which he appeared to be laughing while showing a body, is still on the site. Wojcicki said YouTube has a three-strikes rule, and Paul hasn't struck out yet.

YouTube's also had a flap lately with Alex Jones, the media personality behind InfoWars, which had peddled such conspiracy theories as 2012's Sandy Hook shooting, where 26 people died including mostly children, being fake. Jones has said YouTube was going to delete his channel, but that has not happened.  

Expect the Wikipedia snippets in the next few weeks.

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