The world is devastated over the Notre Dame cathedral fire that broke out on Monday in the midst of its ongoing renovation efforts.
The cause of the Paris fire remains unknown, as does the future of the cultural symbol of France.
Bystanders were shocked, and tearful as they witnessed the conflagration.
News outlets began sharing livestreams of the cathedral engulfed in flames on YouTube, but the content inadvertently flagged a feature meant to prevent misinformation.
Livestream viewers of the Notre Dame fire noticed a panel at the bottom of the screen tying some of the videos to the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11 as part of a new feature on the platform.
Buzzfeed News said that the fact-checking information panel is part of YouTube's effort in preventing the spread of misinformation.
YouTube’s algorithm added 9/11 facts to a livestream of the Notre-Dame Cathedral fire https://t.co/0vlqGN9pT9 by… https://t.co/Lm15ZVJm3f— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch)1555361862.0
"To be clear: Videos containing misinformation can still appear in the search results, but YouTube will generate these disclaimers when a query involves sensitive topics, with the intent to inform viewers as the company deals with the spread of misinformation on the platform."
If a user clicked on the information panel, they would be redirected to articles relating to the U.S. terrorist attack.
@TechCrunch @tayhatmaker Weird https://t.co/VuZDS1u02C— Mike Archer 🌻 ⏳ (@Mike Archer 🌻 ⏳)1555362255.0
The disclaimers have since been removed, but not before Twitter archived the gaffe.
Why in the world is @YouTube putting information about 9/11 underneath the Notre Dame livestream from @FRANCE24? (… https://t.co/7JANVFqqDh— Joshua Benton (@Joshua Benton)1555350432.0
I'm so glad we let tech platforms eat the journalism industry. Now, I can sit and watch a live stream of Notre Da… https://t.co/90xFxRdwBN— Ryan Broderick (@Ryan Broderick)1555350772.0
YouTube is suggesting viewers read about 9/11 during Notre Dame-related streams, for some reason https://t.co/mqNxVs5BSe— jordan (@jordan)1555351747.0
A spokesperson for YouTube said an algorithm is responsible for invoking these "information panels" linking to third-party sources like Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia.
"These panels are triggered algorithmically and our systems sometimes make the wrong call. We are disabling these panels for livestreams related to the fire."
Twitter shared their theories about the technical glitch, while also raising questions about how the fire started.
@jbenton Unfortunate error, but apparently just that. French reference to the towers and appearance of prominent st… https://t.co/rpOVXUzS2s— I R a Gadfly (@I R a Gadfly)1555368035.0
@JordanUhl I’m assuming it’s an image recognition thing which is seeing a tall building and smoke...— Auntie Nanners 🤦🏻♀️ (@Auntie Nanners 🤦🏻♀️)1555352066.0
@JordanUhl Two big famous monuments being destroyed and going down in flames I guess. Fairly similar, just different way of it happening.— Robin Gillard (@Robin Gillard)1555351795.0
@JordanUhl "If you like videos of towers collapsing, you'll definitely like..."— Rebecca Fishbein (@Rebecca Fishbein)1555352083.0
@broderick @MortenMyksvoll Because it’s image recognition, it looks like a scene from 9/11. So the software believe… https://t.co/guRmfVoztM— Alparslan Demir (@Alparslan Demir)1555353704.0
The Paris prosecutor's office opened an investigation into the blaze and will look into it as an "involuntary destruction caused by fire."
Fire chief Jean-Claude Gallet confirmed that firefighters managed to prevent the fire from spreading towards the northern end of the belfry and that two-thirds of the cathedral's roof "has been ravaged."
Thanks to firefighters controlling the blaze, the iconic dual bell towers managed to survive the fire in addition to the main structure of the building, according to a government official and the Paris fire chief.