YouTube changes search to combat conspiracy theories

YouTube and conspiracy theories go together like conspiracy theorists and moms’ basements.

However, in light of recent events, the company has amended its search algorithms to combat the spread of conspiracy theory videos, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The change comes following allegations it was “prompting” clips spreading misinformation surrounding the recent shooting on the Las Vegas Strip.

Today’s report points out that debunked information appeared in the top 5 search results on the deadly attack and the recent NFL national anthem protests.

The WSJ points out the 5th result when typing “Las Vegas shooting” was entitled “Proof Las Vegas Shooting Was a FALSE FLAG attack—Shooter on 4th Floor.”

Another, on the first page of results, asked whether the shooting “really happened.”

According to the report, YouTube made the changes to its algorithms on Wednesday night in order to surface those searching with more “authoritative” sources.

Algorithmic improvements

It isn’t the first time Google has dealt with algorithm issues following the tragedy last Sunday night, in which 58 people were killed and over 500 were injured.

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The company’s news algorithms surfaced a thread from the controversial 4Chan website, prompting Google to pledge “algorithmic improvements” to stop it from happening again.

Google is yet to officially comment on the YouTube changes, but the offending videos have now disappeared from the first page of search results.

Is YouTube correct to alter search results to dampen conspiracy theories? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.