In another unnerving announcement from YouTube, CEO Susan Wojcicki says the platform will roll out a new feature that will pair Wikipedia snippets with videos about conspiracies.
Wojcicki described the new "feature" during her talk at South by Southwest with Nicholas Thompson, the editor-in-chief at Wired, but the change is more alarming than comforting. "This has been a year of fake news and misinformation," she said.
Now, YouTube will determine just what a conspiracy theory is based on a list of conspiracy theories on the internet such as arguments that NASA faked the moon landings in 1969. The problem, nobody asked for YouTube to put text snippets of who knows what next to videos.
This is the company interjecting and forcing their own ideas and the narrative they believe to be correct. Thompson asked Wojcicki, "So YouTube will be sending people to text?" The obviously scripted question drew a laugh anyway. The topic of exactly what YouTube is responsible for when it comes to their platform has been the subject of heated debates recently.
Wojcicki spoke at the Code Media Conference in February and tried to put people's minds to rest who were confused why conservatives who didn't violate the platform's policy were being banned and not obvious morons who film themselves doing incredibly disrespectful and even illegal acts like Logan Paul.
Alex Jones channel has also been the subject of recent controversy when the platform announced they would delete his channel meaning literally thousands of videos and thousands upon thousands of hours of content would be lost. So far, the media platform has yet to ban Jones but the recent direction the company has taken is certainly unsettling at best.
This latest announcement about adding Wikipedia snippets to conspiracy theories is so obviously just another tool for them to counter ideas they don't like. It's basically saying, "hey, we think you're too stupid to research for yourself so we'll put it here for you." Except what they pair with an article may be completely wrong anyway.
Hopefully, there will be a way turn off the snippets, or better yet opt out of this feature altogether.
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