By: Nick Gambino
“Fake news” has no political affiliation. It has no allies. It has no enemies but the truth. The rampant spread of misinformation seems all too commonplace in a world where news cycles are turned over every five minutes and quality control is deemed a burden.
Major social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have already spoken on the measures they’re taking to curtail false news from taking hold and going viral. YouTube is now adding their voice to the change.
While giving a talk at SXSW, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki offered a glimpse into what the video content site is doing to stop the spread of misinformation. Their solution requires the use of another site that itself isn’t known for being – get ready for an understatement – 100% accurate. And that site is Wikipedia.
Wojcicki stated that YouTube would start adding pieces of Wikipedia-linked articles to conspiracy-related videos in the next few weeks. A snippet of the article will appear directly beneath the video in between the title and the video itself.
“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,” the CEO said.
It seems though that nobody thought to tell Wikipedia about the plan. “We were not given advance notice of this announcement,” a Wikimedia Foundation tweet stated.
Now they don’t have to officially partner with Wikipedia as all of the content on the online encyclopedia can be “freely licensed for reuse by anyone.” It’s just worth noting that they’re not enlisting Wikipedia’s help or tipping them off that they might be barraged by unscrupulous individuals trying to enter false information directly into Wiki articles.
But hey, I’m never one to knock a step in the right direction. I’m glad there’s an effort to crack down on bastardized truth no matter how minimal the effort is.
Spreading of lies has always and will always exist, all the internet did was facilitate that human flaw and strap a rocket to those lies. Now they’re trying desperately to catch those rockets with bare hands, but it might be too late.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.