YouTube has announced a reversal of its "election integrity" policy, stating that it will now leave up content that makes claims of fraud, errors, or glitches in elections, including the much-debated 2020 presidential election and previous US elections.
The company confirmed this decision to Axios on Friday, emphasizing that maintaining the policy may hinder political speech without effectively reducing the risk of real-world harm or violence.
The policy was initially established by YouTube in December 2020, after the much contested 2020 election. However, with the changed landscape and the 2024 campaigns well underway, the company acknowledged the need to reevaluate the effects of the policy.
During a recent CNN town hall, Trump said that he would suspend talk about election fraud ... unless he sees election fraud.
"With that in mind, and with 2024 campaigns well underway, we will stop removing content that advances false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches occurred in the 2020 and other past US Presidential elections."
"The rest of our election misinformation policies remain in place, including those that disallow content aiming to mislead voters about the time, place, means, or eligibility requirements for voting; false claims that could materially discourage voting, including those disputing the validity of voting by mail; and content that encourages others to interfere with democratic processes," the statement continued.
Although YouTube stated that it had carefully deliberated this change, it did not provide specific examples of the factors or instances considered in making the determination. The platform plans to release more details about its approach to the 2024 election in the coming months.
The revised policy, which takes effect immediately, does not affect YouTube's other rules concerning "misinformation." Content that misleads voters about voting requirements, discourages voting, or incites interference with democratic processes will continue to be subject to removal.
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