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YouTube will stop removing false claims about 2020 voter fraud

Former US President Donald Trump’s YouTube account is seen on a cellphone and laptop after it was restored by Google and its parent company Alphabet Inc., as Google lifted a more than two-year suspension imposed on Trump after the January 6, 2021 murderous Capitol Hill Riot in Washington on March 17, 2023.

Jim Bourg | Reuters

Google-belonging Youtube will stop suppressing false allegations of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential race, the video platform announced on Friday.

YouTube said in a blog post that it made the decision to balance its dual goals of “protecting our community and providing a place for open discussion and debate.” The decision, which comes ahead of the 2024 midterm races, reverses a policy implemented in December 2020, after President Joe Biden won the election.

“Two years, tens of thousands of video removals, and an election cycle later, we recognized it was time to reassess the effects of this policy in today’s changing landscape,” YouTube wrote. “In the current environment, we find that while removing this content will curb some misinformation, it could also have the unintended effect of restricting political discourse without significantly reducing the risk of violence or other harm in the world. real.”

The new rule will come into effect on Friday, June 2.

During the 2020 election, the company faced delayed responses regarding the labeling and removal of videos that showed misinformation or falsely claimed widespread voter fraud. After the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol, YouTube announced it would begin suspending channels that make false claims about widespread voter fraud.

In March 2023, YouTube had already lifted the restrictions imposed on Trump’s account after the January 6 uprising.

YouTube said aspects of its election misinformation policy remained, including highlighting authoritative sources in research and recommendations and banning posts intended to mislead voters about where and how to vote.

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