For the last month, President Donald Trump and his allies have tried to cast doubt on President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. However, they’ve failed to produce evidence of irregularities in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, or other states sufficient to overcome Biden’s substantial lead in the electoral college. Now YouTube says it has had enough.
“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 US Presidential election,” the Google-owned service announced.
YouTube acknowledged that it had previously allowed the airing of “controversial views on the outcome or process of counting votes of a current election as election officials have worked to finalize counts.” But now that most of Trump’s legal challenges have been thrown out of court, YouTube says that the legitimacy of Biden’s election is no longer up for debate.
YouTube says it will “begin enforcing this policy today, and will ramp up in the weeks to come.”
Discussion of election controversies won’t be completely forbidden, however. YouTube allows “educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic” videos to discuss content that would otherwise be banned. To fall under this exception, it must be “clear to the viewer that the creator’s aim is not to promote or support the content that violates our policies.” In other words, a video can discuss claims of election fraud only if it’s clear that the video isn’t endorsing those theories.
Different platforms have taken different approaches to claims of election fraud since last month’s election. Twitter, for example, allows Trump to tweet out allegations of election fraud but attaches a label to each tweet warning that the allegations are disputed. Facebook has taken a similar approach. When someone posts content disputing the election result to Facebook, Facebook sometimes adds an informational notice pointing users to official election results.