YouTube is going to remove videos that mislead viewers about the outcome of the US presidential election. These are images that suggest that fraud has been committed or that mistakes have been made that have affected the outcome.
For example, a video claiming that presidential candidate Joe Biden won the election due to software problems or counting errors cannot be uploaded from today.
With this ,
the video platform hopes to limit the range of deceptive videos and remove “malicious content”. Previously posted videos about election fraud will not be deleted.
YouTube did not disclose why the platform allowed such videos in the month after the election. The company says that the decision follows the so-called ‘safe harbor’: the date on which all problems related to the election, such as recounts, should have been completed.
“ It‘s an interesting extra step, which was needed,” says tech editor Nando Kasteleijn. “But critics will say that the decision is too late. Videos of Trump who won have been around since the beginning of November.”
The decision may have a major impact on right-wing YouTube channels and Trump himself, writes CNN journalist and tech expert Brian Fung on Twitter. “It’s going to cause a backlash. That will be criticized from conservative media,” says Kasteleijn.
How rigid YouTube will be in deleting channels and videos is waiting for, says Kasteleijn. The video service says that 8000 channels and misleading election videos have been removed since September. More than 77 percent of those videos would have been removed before they were watched a hundred times.
Last October, the tech giant announced new rules against the spread of conspiracy theories that call for violence, such as Qanon. This also had concrete consequences in the Netherlands. For example, the channel of rapper Lange Frans was removed.