With so much content unleashed onto the internet every single day, it’s painfully easy to get lost in a video wormhole. For the most part, that type of binge-watching isn’t too harmful even if it means we’re wasting our precious time — we’re not counting the time well spent on Vine compilations.
Outside of these many benign articles, memes and videos posted to social media, sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are also plagued with dangerous pieces laced with misinformation. Most of us are already well aware when we come across something fishy, but sadly, this type of noxious content has very real effects on countless other internet users. Conspiracy videos have lost people money, influenced election votes, and incited hate crimes.
In a long overdue attempt to curb toxic content, YouTube is now stepping up by editing their recommended channel. The media giant’s blog account published a message earlier today declaring that conspiracy videos will soon be removed from the site’s sidebar. “We’ll begin reducing recommendations of borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways,” reads the post. “[users will see less] videos promoting a phoney miracle cure for a serious illness, claiming the earth is flat or making blatantly false claims about historic events like 9/11.”
While it’s a step in the right direction, YouTube will still be unable to remove misleading conspiracy videos altogether, as they do not violate the community guidelines. You can read the entire blog post here.