YouTube, where conspiracies over voter fraud and the outcome of the 2020 elections have flourished, will begin removing videos uploaded from Wednesday with videos about lies and misleading information about the election.
The new directive does not apply to the thousands of misleading and conspiratorial videos uploaded before Wednesday, about 32 days after Joe Biden was scheduled to be the winner.
“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,” the company said in a statement. “Given that we’re starting to remove any content we’ve uploaded today (or anytime later) that is misleading people into claiming that widespread fraud or mistakes have changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.”
The so-called “safe harbor” deadline is the date by which state-level electoral challenges are supposed to be met.
Spokesman Ivy Choi confirmed to BuzzFeed News that fake election content uploaded before Dec. 9 may remain on the platform.
“The non-offensive / remaining content will show our information panel, which we will update to reflect the certification status of the election results,” Choi said.
Like other social media platforms, YouTube – whose parent company, Alphabet also owns Google – has been unable to firmly push back against election fraud.
On November 4, One America News Network, a pro-Trump, far-right cable channel that Trump himself promoted, uploaded a video claiming that “President Trump won four more years in office last night,” millions of keywords reported swing states. .
Despite intense setbacks, YouTube declined to remove the video, which had nearly half a million views, instead struck a notice on the site that first said the results were not final and then updated days later to note that the Associated Press predicted Biden to be the winner.
Conspiracies about election results were similarly prevalent on other platforms.
Trump’s favorite website, Twitter, has affixed lukewarm warning labels to fake and misleading election tweets – including the president himself – but has completely avoided those tweets.
Facebook, which is reluctant to reprimand right-wing sites promoting internet conspiracies and violence, has also decided to stamp Trump with misleading entries about the election. BuzzFeed News reported in mid-November that internal data shows that these tags were ineffective in deterring people from sharing and participating with them.