SALT LAKE CITY — YouTube flagged video livestreams of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire as misinformation on Monday afternoon, according to CNN.
Officials said Monday that the Notre Dame Cathedral’s renovation project led to the fire, according to The Associated Press.
Several news organizations began reporting on the fire through YouTube livestreams and videos. Several of the videos included a gray panel titled “September 11 attacks” right beneath. The panel included a link to an Encyclopedia Britannica article about those attacks, The Verge reported.
You can see an example of the panel below:
Why in the world is @YouTube putting information about 9/11 underneath the Notre Dame livestream from @FRANCE24?— Joshua Benton (@jbenton) April 15, 2019
(Especially since it seems like, at least right now, ongoing renovations are the most likely cause, no indication of terror) https://t.co/A3HP36epxx pic.twitter.com/ZheCMC5pcG
I'm so glad we let tech platforms eat the journalism industry.— Ryan Broderick (@broderick) April 15, 2019
Now, I can sit and watch a live stream of Notre Dame burning while YouTube's fake news widget tells me about 9/11 for some reason. pic.twitter.com/FhAtE4DqtB
YouTube is suggesting viewers read about 9/11 during Notre Dame-related streams, for some reason pic.twitter.com/mqNxVs5BSe— jordan (@JordanUhl) April 15, 2019
On a few different livestreams of Notre Dame on YouTube, the site offers a totally unprompted, unrelated description of the September 11 attacks: pic.twitter.com/fPI0898U9g— Jenna Amatulli (@ohheyjenna) April 15, 2019
The panel appeared beneath livestreams for CBS News, NBC News and France 24, according to The Verge. However, ABC News, Fox News and others did not include it.
A spokesperson for YouTube told multiple news organizations that the panels are activated by an algorithm.
- "These panels are triggered algorithmically and our systems sometimes make the wrong call," the spokesperson said in a statement, according to BuzzFeed News. "We are disabling these panels for livestreams related to the fire."
YouTube identified the mistake after it found the Notre Dame fire as a breaking news event, according to The Verge.
Flashback: The panel is a new tool YouTube will roll out to discourage people from watching and consuming misinformation on the social media platform, according to BuzzFeed News.
- YouTube announced the new feature back in July, according to CNN. The company said in a blog post that the third-party checks would appear "alongside videos on a small number of well-established historical and scientific topics that have often been subject to misinformation, like the moon landing and the Oklahoma City Bombing."