YouTube vs. Wikipedia

The Ides of March: Caesar experiences organized vandalism.

I’m just going to put this out there even though this tempest in a teapot is pretty much over, without having hit the Wikimedia mailing list at all. Everything was played out over social media, and I have to say that our ED came out looking more professional and more well-prepared than theirs.

Besides, it gives me a chance to use this Ides of March Caesar stabbing image.

The most definitive story was done by Slate yesterday,

“Pointing to slides that displayed YouTube videos purveying conspiracies about the moon landing and chemtrails, Wojcicki said the company will begin displaying “information cues” drawn from Wikipedia alongside such clips. The cues come in the form of little blocks of text directly below the video. To determine which videos require such a counterweight, Wojcicki said, YouTube will draw on Wikipedia’s own list of well-known conspiracy theories. She noted that YouTube could expand on that list over time.

“This was all news to the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that administers the volunteer-edited Wikipedia. “We were not given advance notice of this announcement,” the foundation said in a statement Wednesday, adding that there is no formal partnership between it and YouTube. While it did not explicitly object to YouTube using its content in this way, the nonprofit stressed that it relies on donors and unpaid editors, and that it “does not control content or make editorial decisions about information that is included on Wikipedia….”

“In other words, an $800 billion company—arguably the world’s most important information source—is outsourcing the job of combatting (sic) misinformation on its platform to a nonprofit built on free labor. And it didn’t bother to tell them.”

Wikipediocracy weighed in with the common observation that this could lead to a whole lot of new vandalism.

And here are a few more random threads about Wojcicki’s further YouTube remarks, especially one that YouTube had discovered its identity as a library.

Lolz, and many of them.

+ are curated for quality.
+ aren’t filled with rubbish.
+ aren’t based upon advertising.
+ don’t track what you browse.
+ aren’t part of a mega-corporation.
+ don’t capture and collate personal data.

Et cetera.

The Bloomberg headlineYouTube to Work With Wikipedia to Curb Conspiracy Theories” proved inaccurate as Katherine Maher did not seem too thrilled when she found out about it.

“I couldn’t say; this was something they did independent of us.”

Yup, and Wikipedia doesn’t get the donations from this scraping either, that they need for their business model.

More thread about the Verge article.

The best comment so far was that YouTube should link to Snopes instead.  Debunking is what they do.

And finally there was an official announcement from Wikimedia, issued appropriately enough on Twitter.


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