YouTube has announced it will remove videos criticizing Joe Biden’s alleged victory and reporting on election “fraud or errors,” instead promoting the content of corporate media outlets and fact checkers.
Per YouTube, its December 9th decision was guided by its “main goal” of “connecting people with authoritative information, while also limiting the reach of misinformation and removing harmful content.”
In reality, however, the platform will likely axe a host of pro-Trump accounts, as it has done before.
Specifically, the platform vowed to crack down on any content that exposes “widespread fraud or errors” incurred during the 2020 election:
“We also disallow content alleging widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of a historical U.S. Presidential election. However in some cases, that has meant allowing controversial views on the outcome or process of counting votes of a current election as election officials have worked to finalize counts.
Yesterday was the safe harbor deadline for the U.S. Presidential election and enough states have certified their election results to determine a President-elect. Given that, we will start removing any piece of content uploaded today (or anytime after) that misleads people by alleging that widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, in line with our approach towards historical U.S. Presidential elections. For example, we will remove videos claiming that a Presidential candidate won the election due to widespread software glitches or counting errors. We will begin enforcing this policy today, and will ramp up in the weeks to come.”
Not once, however, do YouTube’s policy guidelines outline how the claims of election fraud are unsubstantiated.
The platform promises to connect viewers with information it deems “authoritative,” boasting how it had already “terminated over 8000 channels and thousands of harmful and misleading elections-related videos.”
Among the entities YouTube now entrusts its censorship activities to are Google, The Associated Press, and third-party fact checkers:
We also showed information panels linking both to Google’s election results feature, which sources election results from The Associated Press, and to the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) “Rumor Control” page for debunking election integrity misinformation, alongside these and over 200,000 other election-related videos. Collectively, these information panels have been shown over 4.5 billion times. Starting today, we will update this information panel, linking to the “2020 Electoral College Results” page from the Office of the Federal Register, noting that as of December 8, states have certified Presidential election results, with Joe Biden as the President-elect. It will also continue to include a link to CISA, explaining that states certify results after ensuring ballots are properly counted and correcting irregularities and errors.
Additionally, since Election Day, relevant fact check information panels, from third party fact checkers, were triggered over 200,000 times above relevant election-related search results, including for voter fraud narratives such as “Dominion voting machines” and “Michigan recount.”
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