YouTube is pushing back on election misinformation in more than a month

The YouTube video sharing site logo will be displayed on a smartphone on November 19, 2018 in Berlin, Germany.

Thomas Trutschel | Photothek through Getty Images

Alphabet-owned YouTube said Wednesday that more than a month after the polls were completed and Joe Biden was declared the planned winner, he was falsely alleging widespread fraud or mistakes around the 2020 presidential election.

Following the election, YouTube has been heavily criticized for allowing videos that falsely claim the election was fraudulent and other related issues to spread across the platform. The company said it was now making the decision due to the deadline for securing an election and the fact that several states had already verified their results.

Since 3 November, rival social networks, Twitter and Facebook, have been aggressively monitoring election entries, labeling actual results and restricting their dissemination.

“Yesterday was the safe harbor deadline for the U.S. presidential election, and enough states have verified their election results to determine the president-elect,” YouTube said in a blog post. “Given that we are starting to remove all content that is being deceived today (or at any time afterwards) and misleading people with the claim that widespread fraud or mistakes have changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, in line with the U.S. historic presidential election our approach. “

For example, the company will remove videos that claim Biden won because of widespread software bugs or counting bugs. However, the policy is likely to continue to leave out videos that have been uploaded in recent weeks and make false claims.

While YouTube took action, Google’s parent company said it would lift the suspension of election-related ads.

The move is likely to affect the One America News Network, a right-wing organization that President Donald Trump loved and was previously unable to publish on the platform. The organization has repeatedly uploaded unsubstantiated allegations that the election was stolen from Trump.

YouTube has been criticized several times for allowing election misinformation, taking a freer approach than their social media counterparts.

“We understand the need for intensive scrutiny of our election work. Our teams are working hard to ensure that we strike a balance between allowing a wide range of political speeches and encouraging real harm from abusing our platform. Or harmful misinformation has been widely disseminated,” the company said. .

YouTube has announced that it has removed more than 8,000 channels and thousands of videos since September for violating existing policies.

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