YouTube's new tool for battling misinformation mistakenly linked videos of the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the US and later issued an apology for the "wrong call".
As images of the iconic tower falling played on newscasts around the world on Monday - and on the YouTube channels mirroring those newscasts - "information panels" appeared in boxes below the videos providing details about the collapses of New York's World Trade Center after the terrorist attack, which killed thousands of people.
"We are deeply saddened by the ongoing fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral," a YouTube spokesperson was quoted as saying by ABC News. "These panels are triggered algorithmically and our systems sometimes make the wrong call. We are disabling these panels for live streams related to the fire."
The algorithm is supposed to show information panels with links to third party sources like Encyclopaedia Britannica and Wikipedia while displaying videos on subjects that are rife for conspiracies, according to the company.
The YouTube gaffe came just a month after the video giant and Facebook struggled for hours to detect and block video of a mass shooting at a New Zealand mosque that Internet users were posting and reposting.
On Twitter, some users falsely asserted that the fire was sparked by Muslim terrorists. However, authorities in Paris blamed ongoing renovations at the cathedral and cited no evidence of terrorism.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)