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Tech World Breaking News| Future Information Technology News

YouTube will ‘link-shame’ fake news and hoax videos

YouTube Chief Executive Susan Wojcicki said Tuesday that the video-streaming giant would push back against hoaxes and misinformation by linking offending videos to “fact-based” Web sites like Wikipedia.

A spokesman for Wikipedia, however, told The Post on Wednesday that “we were not given advance notice of this announcement” and that it was made “independent” of Wikipedia.

“We are ever happy to see people, companies and organizations recognize Wikipedia’s value as a repository of free knowledge,” an agent said.

That, in turn, prompted YouTube to later dial back comments Wojcicki had made at the South By Southwest tech conference in Austin, Texas, emphasizing that its new Wikipedia strategy wasn’t part of a formal partnership.

In the arriving weeks, conspiracy-theory videos — Wojcicki showed the audience one about the moon landing being a hoax — will be accompanied by an “information cue” containing a blurb from the event’s Wikipedia page, as well as a link to learn more.

The choice to link to Wikipedia stuck some as odd, as the site has long been targeted by high school teachers and college professors for its not-always-accurate information.

Despite that Wikipedia employs a robust team of fact-checkers, famous Wikipedia pages often fall victim to pranks and hoaxes due to the site’s policy of letting anyone with an account update pages. YouTube, meanwhile, has faced mounting criticism for the spread of crackpot conspiracy theories on its Web site. In the aftermath of major news events such as the Parkland massacre, dubious videos have popped up alongside clips from reputable news outlets.

In 2017, YouTube updated its recommendation feature to spotlight videos users are likely to like, brushing aside concerns that such an approach can trap people in bubbles of misinformation and like-minded opinions.

It is not clear how YouTube will react to fast-moving conspiracies relating to events that don’t yet have Wikipedia entries.

In December, YouTube said it plans to hire more than 10,000 new employees next year in a scramble to clamp down on offensive and inappropriate content on its site.

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