YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki revealed to the world at SXSW yesterday that the company will soon add information from Wikipedia to videos covering popular conspiracy theories to provide alternate viewpoints on such subjects. The information would be displayed in “information cues,” she said, adding that we could expect to see these cues in the coming weeks. It turns out that while YouTube told everyone about its Wikipedia plans yesterday, it forgot to tell Wikipedia about them.


The Wikimedia Foundation has posted a statement on Twitter confirming that “We were not given advance notice of this announcement.” YouTube hasn’t inked a formal partnership with Wikimedia or Wikipedia for information cues.

The information cues will appear directly below the video as a short block of text. There will also be a link to Wikipedia for more information.

Technically, YouTube didn’t really do anything wrong here, because Wikipedia’s content is freely licensed for reuse by anyone. It doesn’t need to officially partner with Wikipedia just for this purpose.

However, it’s still interesting to see that YouTube decided to make information cues public without ever bringing the feature up with the source where it’s going to pull all of this information from. Wojcicki didn’t say during the panel yesterday how many conspiracy theories would receive these information cues initially.

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