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Wikipedia Is Unaware YouTube Is Planning On Using It For Conspiracy Theory Refutation

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki implied Tuesday that the platform was going to partner with Wikipedia in an attempt to refute, or at least balance out, videos peddling conspiracy theories with a new feature. Wikipedia, however, said Wednesday that it never made an agreement with the Google-owned video streaming subsidiary.

The nonprofit online encyclopedia said its content is “freely licensed for reuse by anyone,” indicating that of course YouTube can still use its information.

“We are always happy to see people, companies, and organizations recognize Wikipedia’s value as a repository of free knowledge,” the Wikimedia Foundation, which operates Wikipedia, said in a statement. “In this case, neither Wikipedia nor the Wikimedia Foundation are part of a formal partnership with YouTube. We were not given advance notice of this announcement.”

Wojcicki displayed a prototype of the upcoming new initiative during an event at the South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas.

“People can still watch the videos but then they actually have access to additional information, can click off and go and see that,” Wojcicki said, according to Reuters.

“Our goal is to start with a list of conspiracies around the internet where there’s a lot of active discussion,” she also said, according to Bloomberg.

After ditching another attempt to combat fake or misleading, Facebook announced in December that it was trying an initiative similar to Google’s in which it would provide further context by offering what it sees as a variety of viewpoints on a subject or news story.

“We’re always exploring new ways to battle misinformation on YouTube,” a YouTube representative told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “At SXSW, we announced plans to show additional information cues, including a text box linking to third-party sources around widely accepted events, like the moon landing. These features will be rolling out in the coming months, but beyond that we don’t have any additional information to share at this time.”

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