The online video portal Youtube mistakenly linked the coverage given by major television channels of the fire that consumed part of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris with information on the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in the United States into the additional info panels.

The panels are a tool that the video portal uses for the purpose of “fighting disinformation” online, since they are automatically activated during live narrations and, if they work correctly, offer the internet user context to better understand what he is seeing.

The company itself admitted the error – since these are two events with no apparent link, as the cause of the fire is not known at the moment -, acted to stop the mention of 9/11 from being linked to the coverage of Paris and blamed what happened on a bad decision of the algorithms.

The ‘panels’ that appeared on YouTube during the first few minutes of TV networks such as CBS News, NBC News and France 24’s coverage of the fire linked the narrative to the entry in the Encyclopedia Britannica of the Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

“These panels (with information on the 9/11 terrorist attacks) are decided by algorithms and our systems can sometimes make the wrong decision. We have deactivated the panels for live narrations linked to the fire,” Youtube said in a statement.


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