Variety

US polls: YouTube will remove content alleging fraud or errors changed the outcome

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on December 10, 2020

The video giant faced criticism following the aftermath of the polls for allowing channels to publish videos making disputed claims

YouTube will start removing content alleging fraud voter fraud or errors influencing the outcome of the United States Presidential Elections.

“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,” YouTube said in a blog post.

“For example, we will remove videos claiming that a Presidential candidate won the election due to widespread software glitches or counting errors,” it added.

It will ramp up the enforcement of this policy in the coming weeks. The Google-owned video platform clarified that it had announced the policy as “enough states have certified their election results to determine a President-elect.”

The US Supreme Court on, in a one-line order rejected a request to overturn Joseph R Biden Jr.’s victory in Pennsylvania, New York Times reported.

YouTube had faced major criticism following the aftermath of the US Elections for allowing channels to publish videos making disputed claims about election results. For instance, a verified YouTube channel One America News Network had posted a video declaring victory for Donald Trump won in the election, the Verge reported.

YouTube had defended its decision to allow the video to stay in a statement, that said, “Like other companies, we’re allowing these videos because discussion of election results & the process of counting votes is allowed on YouTube,” as quoted by the Verge.

“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,” YouTube said in a blog post.

However, moving forward, it will remove content alleging widespread fraud or errors to contest the election results.

The video platform has terminated over 8,000 channels and thousands of “harmful and misleading elections-related videos” since September for violating its existing policies.

It further said that 88 per cent of the videos in top 10 search results related to elections came from “authoritative news sources (amongst the rest are things like newsy late-night shows, creator videos and commentary).”

“The most viewed channels and videos are from news channels like NBC and CBS information panels have been shown over 4.5 billion times,” it said.

“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”,” it said.

Published on December 10, 2020

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