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YouTube to remove new videos that falsely claim fraud changed US election outcome

YouTube to remove new videos that falsely claim fraud changed US election outcome

FILE PHOTO: A 3D-printed YouTube icon is seen in front of a displayed YouTube logo in this illustration taken October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Ilustration/File Photo

NEW YORK: YouTube said on Wednesday (Dec 9) it would start removing content that falsely allege widespread fraud changed the outcome of the US presidential election, in a change to its more hands-off stance on videos making similar claims.

The update, which applies to content uploaded from Wednesday, comes a day after "safe harbour", a deadline set by US law for states to certify the results of the presidential election.

YouTube said it would start enforcing the policy in line with its approach towards historical US presidential elections.

Online platforms have been under pressure to police misinformation about the election on their sites.

YouTube, owned by Alphabet's Google, was widely seen as taking a more hands-off approach than Facebook and Twitter, which started labeling content with election misinformation. YouTube labels all election-related videos.

After the November election, Reuters identified several YouTube channels making money from ads and memberships that were amplifying debunked accusations about voting fraud.

Last month, a group of Democratic senators asked YouTube to commit to removing content containing false or misleading information about the 2020 election outcome and the upcoming Senate run-off elections in Georgia.

Asked about how the policy would apply to Georgia elections, a YouTube spokeswoman said this policy only applied to the presidential election.

YouTube said in a blog post on Wednesday that since September it had removed more than 8,000 channels and thousands of misleading election-related videos for violating its existing policies. 

The company said more than 70 per cent of recommendations on election-related topics came from authoritative news sources.

YouTube also said that since Election Day, fact-check information panels had been triggered more than 200,000 times on election-related search results.

Source: Reuters

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