YouTube to cut down on conspiracy theories in recommendations

YouTube is making changes to its recommendation system.


YouTube is changing its recommendation system in an attempt to reduce the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories.

On Friday, YouTube said it’ll start reducing recommendations of borderline content, or videos that come close to but don’t “quite cross the line” of violating its Community Standards. For example, the company said this’ll include “videos promoting phony miracle cure for a serious illness, claiming the earth is flat, or making blatantly false claims about historic events like 9/11.”

YouTube said the change will impact less than 1 percent of videos on the site. The videos will still be available to watch on YouTube; they just won’t be included in recommendations.

“We think this change strikes a balance between maintaining a platform for free speech and living up to our responsibility to users,” the company said in a blog post.

In 2018, YouTube’s product chief said more than 70 percent of the time people spent watching videos on the site, they were drawn in by one of its AI-driven recommendations. YouTube said Friday that more than 200 million videos are recommended each day on its homepage alone.

The change will initially only affect recommendations in the US and will roll out to more countries over time, YouTube said.

Infowars and Silicon Valley: Everything you need to know about the tech industry’s free speech debate.

Netpicks: What’s on your favorite video streaming sites around the web. 

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