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YouTube announces crackdown on conspiracy theories

Photo: Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Youtube is introducing a new feature to help battle conspiracy theories that spread through videos on its platform, CEO Susan Wojcicki announced at South by Southwest Wednesday, according to Bloomberg.

Why it matters: YouTube has struggled to contain misinformation that spreads easily through automated distribution of videos within its feed. The company has faced pressure from advertisers and policymakers to curb the amount of misinformation on the platform that has led to discord and confusion.

How it works: According to Wojcicki, YouTube will work with Wikipedia to show alternate text with facts debunking conspiracy theories, like the one that spread after the Parkland shooting that student survivors were paid actors.

  • The Google-owned subsidiary of Alphabet will start with a list of well-known conspiracy theories to tackle and will work from there.
  • Sources tell BuzzFeed that this is not meant to be a full-scale solution to the problem.
  • Wikipedia is a crowdsourced information website, and has some credibility issues of its own.
Haley Britzky 2 hours ago
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Zuckerberg happy to testify if it is "the right thing to do”

A portrait of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg
A portrait of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Jaap Arriens / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he would be "happy" to testify before Congress if it was "the right thing to do," in an interview with CNN's Laurie Segall.

Why it matters: Facebook has been under the microscope lately for what Zuckerberg called earlier today the "Cambridge Analytica situation." Zuckerberg said if he as the "person...who will have the most knowledge," than he'd be the one to testify in the face of Facebook's data-collection situation.

Ina Fried 2 hours ago
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Zuckerberg: Facebook may have influenced election, may need to be regulated

Zuckerberg at F8 in 2017
Zuckerberg at F8 in 2017. Photo: Facebook

In a flurry of media interviews on Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he is willing to testify before Congress, that he can't guarantee that Russians didn't get their hands on Facebook user data and that he isn't sure Facebook shouldn't be regulated.

Why it matters: After remaining silent for several days, Mark Zuckerberg has given interviews with outlets including CNN, Wired, the New York Times and Recode. The interviews answer some, but definitely not all of the questions left unanswered by his earlier Facebook post.