Within the aftermath of the US presidential election, YouTube has been beneath hearth for spreading misinformation as movies falsely claiming victory for President Donald Trump make their manner onto the platform.
The Google-owned platform has been criticized for refusing to take down movies by One America News, a far proper information group. On Wednesday, the outlet posted a video wherein anchor Christina Bobb baselessly alleges Democrats are “tossing Republican ballots, harvesting faux ballots, and delaying the outcomes to create confusion.”
On Thursday, OAN doubled down with another video, claiming Democrats are “attempting to steal the battleground states.” YouTube mentioned it should now not present adverts on each movies, taking away their potential to generate income. Each movies are labeled with the warning, “Outcomes is probably not ultimate,” which seem with all election-related movies and search outcomes.
Within the days because the election, ballots are nonetheless being counted in states together with Arizona and Pennsylvania. Regardless of the false claims within the OAN movies, YouTube mentioned they do not violate the platform’s guidelines.
“Our Group Tips prohibit content material deceptive viewers about voting, for instance content material aiming to mislead voters concerning the time, place, means or eligibility necessities for voting, or false claims that would materially discourage voting. The content material of this video does not rise to that stage,” mentioned Ivy Choi, a YouTube spokesperson.
OAN did not reply to a request for remark.
YouTube’s stance underscores the bounds of YouTube’s policing of misinformation on its platform. Whereas the world’s largest video website has guidelines in opposition to selling voter suppression, it does not have the identical sorts of protections in opposition to false claims of victory, in what has been essentially the most contentious American election in current historical past. The platform’s solely safeguard for that’s its panel concerning the outcomes not being ultimate, which hyperlink to real-time tabulations by the Related Press.
Tech giants have been game-planning for months how they’d deal with election misinformation. Social Valley firms together with Google, Fb and Twitter have been wanting to show they may keep away from the errors they made in 2016, when that election was marred by interference by Russian brokers that exploited huge tech platforms.
In September, YouTube mentioned it will present individuals info panels on mail-in voting after they watch movies that debate the topic. The ballot-casting technique has turn out to be fraught with misinformation as Trump has tried to discredit the method, whereas offering no proof of safety flaws within the time-tested system. Final month, the corporate banned some videos pushing false conspiracies corresponding to QAnon, a baseless concept that claims Devil worshipping cannibals and pedophiles try to take down the president. YouTube pledged to take away content material that “targets a person or group with conspiracy theories which have been used to justify real-world violence.”
YouTube confronted challenges proper from Election Day. The corporate took down a number of stay streamshours earlier than the polls closed wherever within the nation, however not earlier than the movies have been already considered by hundreds of individuals.