YouTube doubles down on not removing false election videos

YouTube Premium on a Galaxy S9
YouTube Premium on a Galaxy S9 (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Following the 2020 U.S. election, YouTube has been criticized for the growing number of misinformation and conspiracy videos undermining the election results on the platform.
  • In a series of new tweets, YouTube has defended itself, saying that most popular election videos come from 'authoritative news organizations.'
  • In contrast to how Facebook and Twitter have been actively labeling and removing election misinformation, YouTube claims that its platform supports an open discussion of election processes.

Following the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, top social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have been struggling to deal with the onslaught of misinformation and conspiracy content with false claims about the election results.

While Facebook and Twitter have been particularly active in labeling and even removing content with completely false election information, YouTube has had a number of popular conspiracy videos that have started to trend and spread throughout the platform. Due to this rather apparent trend, the video platform has been heavily criticized for its seemingly lax content moderation.

However, instead of promising further policy or algorithm changes, YouTube seems to have taken a defensive stance. In a series of new tweet replies from the @YouTubeInsider Twitter account, YouTube has strongly defended its content moderation efforts.

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In the tweets, YouTube comments that "most popular videos about the election are from authoritative news organizations," supposedly disregarding the claims that there are a significant number of videos with false election claims. YouTube adds that the platform allows "these videos because discussion of election results & the process of counting votes is allowed on YT."

The U.S. presidential election has already been projected to be in favor of Joe Biden, and many foreign leaders have already congratulated the soon-to-be president on his victory. However, if these misleading and conspiracy videos continue to surface on major social platforms and eventually on people's phones, the national unrest over the election will most likely not be resolved for a long time.

Ho Young Won