After years of shamelessly censoring discussions of the 2020 presidential election, YouTube has changed its election misinformation policy, but the damage has already been done.
YouTube announced Friday that the platform “will stop removing content that advances false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches occurred in the 2020 and other past US Presidential elections.” Although the platform continued to press its own stance on the last election, YouTube admitted that in this case censorship perhaps wasn’t the answer: “In the current environment, we find that while removing this content does curb some misinformation, it could also have the unintended effect of curtailing political speech without meaningfully reducing the risk of violence or other real-world harm.” You don’t say?
The change in policy is long overdue. By YouTube’s own admission, the censorship caused devastating damage, spanning “two years, tens of thousands of video removals, and one election cycle later.”
As users say “good riddance” to YouTube’s draconian censorship rule, here are four cases showing how the anti-free speech platform enforced its election misinformation policy:
- YouTube removed a clip posted by the January 6 Committee for lacking “sufficient context.” The Congressional January 6 Committee posted part of a hearing that included clips of former President Trump alleging widespread voter fraud. In the video, Trump said: “We had glitches where they moved thousands of votes from my account to Biden’s account. They’re not glitches. They’re theft. They’re fraud, absolute fraud.”Former Attorney General Bill Barr repeatedly denied Trump’s claims at the hearing, but the clip did not include Barr’s denials. YouTube told MRC Free Speech America that its “election integrity policy prohibits content advancing false claims that widespread fraud, errors or glitches changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election if it does not provide sufficient context.”
- YouTube removed two days of CPAC 2022 videos. The platform removed two days’ worth of content posted by the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). YouTube told MRC Free Speech America that it removed the videos for “violating our election integrity policy which prohibits content that advances false claims that widespread fraud changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.” Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, told The Washington Examiner that he received a notice that YouTube had removed former President Trump’s speech as well. Schlapp said that “many speakers did not focus on the election.” However, the CPAC channel received a strike for showing so-called “misinformation.”
- YouTube removed a DC Clips interview with a January 6 rioter. DC Clips, a channel run by a New York Post reporter, posted an interview with January 6 rioter Aaron Mostofsky inside the Capitol. The Post reported that the video “was cited by many news outlets and the Justice Department used it to help prosecute Mostofsky.” YouTube removed the video claiming that the video “advances false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches changed the outcome of the US 2020 presidential election.” YouTube later permitted the same content to remain on the Post’s channel, according to the Post.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact YouTube at 650-253-0000 and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called hate speech and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.