Speaking at the SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, Texas Tuesday evening, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki laid out the plan, which will see a prominent link to a relevant Wikipedia page placed next to videos that feature debunked conspiracies, such as that the moon landing was a hoax.
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. The feature named - information cues, will be incorporated into the platform in the coming weeks. "If there is an important news event, we want to be delivering the right information", she said.
Google's video streaming platform has faced criticism following the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. when conspiracy theory videos proliferated on the platform. But it generally provides a more neutral, empirical approach to understanding conspiracies than the more sensationalist videos that appear on YouTube.
Critics have pointed out that controversial content can potentially radicalize viewers.
Once the features are implemented, a video calling into question events around September 11 or the Apollo Moon landing, for example, could be accompanied by a link to the official Wikipedia page on these events.
Wojcicki described YouTube's new counter-conspiracy initiative as providing "information cues": text boxes linking to Wikipedia and other sources that will show up in videos flagged as promoting alternate facts. Furthermore, Wojcicki has stated that other sources of information will also be added aside from Wikipedia.