In a bid to crack down on conspiracy theories designed to mislead viewers, YouTube has introduced a new policy not to recommend certain video rife with misinformation on the video sharing platform.
From light-hearted entertainment created by the likes of Shane Dawson and anyone else with access to Wikipedia, to the notoriously inflammatory flap peddled by the likes of Alex Jones, of InfoWars fame, YouTube has racked up millions of views thanks to our obsession with conspiracy.
But the platform’s time for purposefully pushing it out into the world it coming to an end.
YouTube will be changing its ever-elusive algorithm to stop recommending videos which could mislead audiences into believing conspiracy theories as truth.
In other words, once you’ve finished watching a news video from the likes of CNN or another news outlet, you’re now much less likely to be offered the option of clicking through to a video wildly theorising over the subject matter.
YouTube said that the changes will affect less than 1 percent of videos and that all of the videos will still be available on the platform, they just won’t be recommended.
The company wrote in a blog post announcing the move:
We’ll begin reducing recommendations of borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways—such as videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, claiming the earth is flat or making blatantly false claims about historic events like 9/11.
While this shift will apply to less than one percent of the content on YouTube, we believe that limiting the recommendation of these types of videos will mean a better experience for the YouTube community.
The platform said the removal of videos from recommendations ‘relies on a combination of machine learning and real people’. Now, the new algorithm will be added to YouTube’s list of previous policies to eradicate negative trends like clickbait reaction videos.
The plan is to make sure conspiracy theory videos aren’t seen alongside legitimate fact-based videos, meaning people are less likely to conflate truth with the apparent existence of 12-foot lizards and a hollowed-out moon base.
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