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Here's why you might never fall down a YouTube conspiracy theory rabbit hole again

The site is cracking down on content.

HAVE YOU EVER found yourself going on to YouTube to look up something, only to inevitably get distracted an endless stream of seemingly irrelevant videos about the Illuminati? (The best of us procrastinate, no judgement.)

Well, I’m afraid to say those days look like they’re coming to an end. In a blog post posted last week, YouTube said it will begin to reduce recommending “borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways – such as videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, claiming the earth is flat, or making blatantly false claims about historic events like 9/11.” 

It comes after the site banned well-known conspiracy theorist Alex Jones last year over concerns about his content, including videos that questioned whether the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 were real.

YouTube’s previously tried to reduce recommendations of this sort of content by it putting links to Wikipedia about events in text-boxes around “widely accepted events, like the (1969) moon landing.”

As of right now, it’s unclear what videos the site will consider as being borderline. In an interview, the company suggested that users should read its publicly posted community guidelines for guidance on which kinds of videos may come close to receiving a dreaded strike.

This could be bad timing for the platform’s most prominent stars, Shane Dawson – or is it?

Dawson, who is also credited with popularising the ‘conspiracy theory’ genre of YouTube, is due to drop a new series today. His previous videos under the umbrella have garnered 82.5 million views in total.

Currently, YouTube are only testing the tool in the US for now. Depending on how it goes, the site will then roll out further afield.

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