YouTube was the slowest major platform to stop disinformation in the 2020 US election, and nearly three years later the company will be abandoning politics altogether YouTube rolls back its rules against election misinformation.
The company announced on Friday that effective immediately, it would change its refusal to vote policy to allow for some previously prohibited misrepresentations. Axis was the first to report the changes.”
In the current context, we have found that while removing this content reduces some misinformation, it may also have the unintended effect of restricting political discourse without materially reducing the risk of violence or other actual harm,” the company wrote on a blog.
With this in mind, and in light of the ongoing 2024 campaigns, we will stop removing content that falsely claims it is a scam, a bug, or a general issue with the election. 2020 presidential election and other previous elections, US presidential election.
YouTube still does not allow some children to make false election claims, such as lying about polling stations and other specific attempts to dissuade people from voting, successfully.
“All of our policies on Election disinformation remains in effect, including those that disallow content intended to mislead voters about when, where or how to vote; misrepresentations that could significantly discourage voting, including those that challenge the validity of an absentee voting question; and content that encourages others to interfere in democratic processes,” the company wrote.
However, allowing users to sow distrust among the populace through the democratic process does not appear to fit the company’s definition of “actual harm.”
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Although enforcement has been difficult, opening a season for US election disapproval on YouTube is a strange decision, especially as we approach the 2024 election campaign.
The company plans to provide more updates on its election strategy for 2024 in the coming weeks. Hopefully YouTube expands on its considerations or other planned precautions.