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YouTube announces Wikipedia plans without actually telling Wikipedia first

YouTube this week announced plans to add information from Wikipedia articles to conspiracy-related videos. Bizarrely though, it seems that nobody at YouTube bothered telling the Wikimedia Foundation.

The announcement, made on Wednesday by YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, was made without Wikipedia’s knowledge.

“We are always happy to see people, companies, and organizations recognize Wikipedia’s value as a repository of free knowledge,” the Wikimedia Foundation said in a statement posted to Twitter.

“In this case, neither Wikipedia nor the Wikimedia Foundation are part of a formal partnership with YouTube. We were not given advance notice of this announcement.”

Related: Fake news ‘a bigger threat than’ Russian-bought ads on social media

YouTube doesn’t have to officially partner with Wikipedia to use information from the site, but it’s extremely strange that the company would consider it to be perfectly fine to make the announcement without giving Wikipedia a quick heads-up first.

“We want people all over the world to use, share, add to, and remix Wikipedia,” the statement continues. “All this is possible because of the six million people who donate to keep Wikipedia running, the hundreds of thousands of volunteer contributors, and countless others who support our work.

“At the same time, we encourage companies who use Wikimedia’s content to give back in the spirit of sustainability. In doing so, they would join the millions of individuals who chip in to keep Wikipedia strong and thriving.”

Hint, hint.

YouTube’s grand plan is to use Wikipedia articles to tackle the spread of misinformation on the video platform. We can’t think of a single thing that could possibly go wrong.

Is this all going to result in Wikipedia contributors having an even tougher time keeping articles accurate? Share your thoughts at @TrustedReviews.

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