Although the United States Supreme Court has yet to have its final say on the matter, YouTube has announced that it will now remove “all content” claiming that the result of last month’s presidential election was fraudulent.
Tuesday marked the “safe harbor” deadline for US states to certify their election results. After this date, recounts, audits and prosecutions must generally have been carried out or filed. President Donald Trump is still counting on a major Supreme Court trial to overturn Joe Biden’s victory, but for YouTube the result is set in stone and dissent will no longer be allowed.
“We will begin to remove any piece of uploaded content today (or at any time after) that misleads people into alleging that widespread fraud or error changed the outcome of the 2020 US Presidential Election.” the video platform said on Wednesday.
In addition to removing this content, YouTube said it would further increase the reach of “Authoritative news” and delete “Problematic misinformation.” The platform has already been doing this since election day, and directs viewers to official and government-approved news sources.
Although the “ Safe Harbor ” deadline has passed, the Supreme Court will still hear a massive case brought by the state of Texas which claims the likelihood of a clear victory for Biden was “Less than one in a quadrillion”, and that the former vice president’s victories in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were unconstitutional. Arkansas, Alabama and Louisiana also signed the costume later.
Regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit, experts and commentators have been outraged by the Google-owned company’s explicit censorship. “YouTube will allow you to criticize the government’s handling of the coronavirus, but if you criticize the government’s handling of the elections, your video will now be deleted,” Conservative scholar Jack Posobiec wrote, ironically adding: “We live in a free society.”
YouTube’s announcement came after Trump threat to veto an annual defense spending bill, unless it includes the termination of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which grants social media platforms immunity prosecution for content posted on their sites. Section 230 treats sites as platforms rather than publishers, although following YouTube’s latest announcement some curators argued that banning an entire topic of discussion constitutes editorialization, which does not is not protected by section.
Besides election censorship, YouTube also cracked down on “misleading” information on Covid-19 and a wide range of “conspiracy theories.”
Congress held another public affairs meeting for Big Tech – then more Tories got censored.
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