YouTube now displays facts below conspiracy theory videos
Global warming, the MMR vaccine, UFOs, and more are in the spotlight so far. But will it work?
Misinformation is pretty much a constant on the Internet—and, especially, YouTube. (Cough *Alex Jones* cough).
On July 9, the company added fact-confirming text below videos about climate change, andit cleared things up for those who watched it. The text itself? Directly from Wikipedia, stating clearly, “multiple lines of scientific evidence show that the climate system is warming.”
It's interesting to listen to the fake science guy narrate this clip while that is sitting, ever so clearly, at the bottom.
YouTube is also using Encyclopedia Britannica—of course, the online version, for those whose minds immediately went to the full 26-volume printed version—as a reference for the facts, or lack thereof, within the videos.
It’s a valiant effort to combat fake news and fake science at a time when we really need it. Conspiracy theorists are drawn to videos that feature science and scientific explanations for our world—think moon landing, the Oklahoma City bombing, the 9/11 World Trade Center airplane attacks, and the autism/vaccine “connection” that has been disproven over and over (and over) again.
YouTube is also investing $25 million in grants to news organizations that wish to expand video operations. This is part of a larger $300 million program funded by YouTube's parent company, Google.
The company will not disclose what topics it is using the Wikipedia/Encyclopedia Britannica sourcing for, but Wikipedia itself posted about that in July. They are, at least so far (Warning: It's about to get weird in here!):
- Global warming
- Dulce Base
- Lilla Saltsjöbadsavtalet (Little Saltlake Bath Agreement)
- The 1980 Camarate air crash
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- The Kecksburg UFO incident
- MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine
It’s another plank in Google’s attempts to tamp down misinformation. Perhaps other major companies (cough *Facebook* cough) will follow suit? Here’s what another fact-checking reference looks like:
Will it help combat the rampant disinformation that's out there?
Time will tell.
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It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?
- Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
- Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
- Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.
It turns out, that tattoo ink can travel throughout your body and settle in lymph nodes.
In the slightly macabre experiment to find out where tattoo ink travels to in the body, French and German researchers recently used synchrotron X-ray fluorescence in four "inked" human cadavers — as well as one without. The results of their 2017 study? Some of the tattoo ink apparently settled in lymph nodes.
Image from the study.
As the authors explain in the study — they hail from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment — it would have been unethical to test this on live animals since those creatures would not be able to give permission to be tattooed.
Because of the prevalence of tattoos these days, the researchers wanted to find out if the ink could be harmful in some way.
"The increasing prevalence of tattoos provoked safety concerns with respect to particle distribution and effects inside the human body," they write.
It works like this: Since lymph nodes filter lymph, which is the fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body in an effort to fight infections that are encountered, that is where some of the ink particles collect.
Image by authors of the study.
Titanium dioxide appears to be the thing that travels. It's a white tattoo ink pigment that's mixed with other colors all the time to control shades.
The study's authors will keep working on this in the meantime.
“In future experiments we will also look into the pigment and heavy metal burden of other, more distant internal organs and tissues in order to track any possible bio-distribution of tattoo ink ingredients throughout the body. The outcome of these investigations not only will be helpful in the assessment of the health risks associated with tattooing but also in the judgment of other exposures such as, e.g., the entrance of TiO2 nanoparticles present in cosmetics at the site of damaged skin."
Do you have a magnetic compass in your head?
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