It is generally the exceptional events that the boundaries of social networks are tested. On Monday night, while Notre-Dame de Paris was ravaged by a serious fire, more american internet users wishing to follow the event live on YouTube have noticed the appearance of a window inviting them to visit an article of the Encyclopedia Britannica on the September 11 attacks. The fire is a priori well of accidental origin, as mentioned at the outset, all the press articles.
This window comes with an option tested for a year by the us platform of videos to combat the misinformation and conspiracy theories. Since last summer, YouTube has articles of Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica in the United States and South Korea in order to, in theory, to give more context to a video, spreading potentially false information or distorted. "Information provided by third-party sites such as Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia can be displayed next to videos exploring certain scientific topics or historical well established for which false information is often disseminated online, as the first Man on the moon," says Google, owner of YouTube. In this case, however, YouTube has obviously associated the fire of Our Lady, an accidental event, the September 11 attacks.Anti-conspiracy theories
It is not clear exactly why such an association has been made. It is likely that the algorithms for automatic recognition of YouTube have associated the images of the flames and the smoke coming out of Our-Lady to the videos of the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. "This feature is triggered a result of an analysis of an algorithm. Sometimes, our systems make a wrong calculation," said a spokesman for YouTube, stating that the option was now off for all live videos on this event. The error is all the more problematic that the fire of Our Lady is already the object of attempts at manipulation and "hoaxes", the false information disseminated massively online, with some calling into question the accidental character of the event.
YouTube (owned by Google), such as Facebook and Twitter, is accused for several years to facilitate the spread of misinformation online. In France, a law "against the manipulation of information" has been adopted by the end of 2018, increasing the pressure on the Web giants to fight against the "fake news". This text concerns more particularly the election periods. YouTube tries to resolve the problem with different solutions, the majority are based on automatic algorithms. For example, when YouTube guess was that an important event is happening, it puts forward that media channels checked in the search results, in order to avoid the spread of rumors. However, the machines often make mistakes, the results of which vary between the absurd and the shocking, depending on the circumstances.Updated Date: 17 April 2019, 00:00