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Social media platforms 'failed to counter Notre Dame fire conspiracies'
The Notre Dame Cathedral fire presented social media companies with one of the first major tests of their nascent programmes aimed at fighting misinformation in real time – and critics say they failed.
As footage of the cathedral burning was uploaded to YouTube by major news providers, anti-misinformation algorithms launched by the video-sharing site last year kicked in. Unfortunately, the algorithms wrongly identified the videos as footage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, apparently a result of the prominent plume of smoke common to both videos.
As a result, multiple providers found their videos had been appended with a link to an Encyclopaedia Britannica article about the attacks. The feature is supposed to counter common conspiracy theories about subjects such as the moon landings and whether or not the earth is flat, as well as the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.
YouTube apologised for the mistake, saying its systems “sometimes make the wrong call”.
But that has failed to stop misinformation about the fire from raging on the video-sharing site and elsewhere.
One video of the flames, with 36,000 views, has had the audio edited to suggest that Islamic observers were crying “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great”), in celebration.
Another zooms in on a figure apparently wearing a hi-vis vest and hard hat, captioning it as a “Muslim at Notre Dame”.
These have been accompanied by other claims, spread in comments on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and on “independent” media sites, that attempt to suggest the fire was deliberately started.
One said it was “suspicious” that “officials have stated there was no work being done and the cathedral was empty”; another tweet, since deleted, claimed to be from someone who knew an employee at the church, and said they had been told it was an act of arson
originally posted by: Fallingdown
a reply to: JFA13
This particular video was posted by Hal Turner . So if there isn’t independent verification within a few hours. This thread probably should head to the hoax bin.