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YOUTUBE cracks down on conspiracy videos

Issued: 2018-03-14

NEW YORK (AP) — YouTube says it's cracking down on conspiracy videos, though it's scant on the details.

Conspiracy videos abound on YouTube, whether it's about the Earth being flat or school shootings being staged. YouTube, its parent Google, Facebook and Twitter are all facing challenges with the spread of misinformation, propaganda and fake news.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said at a conference Tuesday that the company will include links to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia to try to debunk videos espousing conspiracy theories.

But Wikipedia itself has had its share of credibility issues, as the service lets anyone edit its content, whether that person is a pedigreed expert or an online troll. Though Wikipedia has tried to address that — in part by restricting edits on high-profile or controversial pages — it isn't immune from hoaxes and its own conspiracy theories.

In a statement Wednesday, YouTube said the links will include other "third-party sources" besides Wikipedia, though YouTube isn't identifying any. The organization that runs Wikipedia said Wednesday that it had no formal partnership with YouTube, but welcomed the use of Wikipedia resources.

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