YouTube Reverses Policy and Allows Content Denying 2020 Election Validity - What You Need to Know

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 06/03/2023
On Friday, YouTube announced that they will be changing their policy in regards to videos that spread false information about election fraud, including the 2020 presidential election. The shift in policy is generating discussion from people all over the world, who are eagerly anticipating how this move will impact the fight against misinformation and propaganda online.

The platform announced in a blog post that it will cease censoring anything that spreads untrue allegations of "widespread fraud, errors, or glitches" in the 2020 election and other elections as of right away. 

Following false assertions by former President Trump and his associates claiming voter fraud predominated the 2020 presidential contest, YouTube first applied its policy to delete content propagating election denial in December 2020. 

"Two years, tens of thousands of video removals, and one election cycle later, we recognized it was time to reevaluate the effects of this policy in today's changed landscape," the post reads. In the present climate, we discover that although eliminating this content helps reduce some disinformation, it might also have the unexpected consequence of limiting political discourse without significantly lowering the danger of violence or other real-world harm. 

First to report on the policy change was Axios. 

When looking for news and information relating to elections, YouTube stated that viewers would still see content from "authoritative sources" in search and their recommendations. The business stated that throughout the 2020 cycle, videos from these sources had the most views and recommendations on the site. 

The post also stated that YouTube's anti-misinformation policies regarding elections would remain in effect, outlawing any material that encourages others to obstruct the democratic process or makes false claims that could "materially discourage" voters from casting a ballot. 

False accusations that might prevent people from voting include contesting the legitimacy of voting by mail.

The decision to reverse course comes as a number of well-known online media outlets changed their election-related rules, including the restoration of Donald Trump's accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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