(Washington) YouTube said on Friday it was ending its policy of removing content that conveys false information about the 2020 US presidential election, provoking the ire of some activist organizations.
“We will stop removing content with unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud, errors, or issues that occurred during the 2020 presidential election,” Google’s platform said on its blog post.
“The ability to freely debate political ideas, even those that are controversial or based on false assumptions, is essential to the functioning of a democratic society, especially in the midst of election season,” she added.
YouTube had implemented this regulation in December 2020 in order to combat unfounded claims that the November presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump in favor of Joe Biden.
This change to the platform’s content moderation policy, which takes effect immediately, comes as tech giants seek to find the right formula to combat misinformation without restricting freedom of expression within an environment increasingly polarized politics in the United States.
“In today’s environment, we believe that while removing this type of content helps combat misinformation, it can also have the unintended effect of limiting political discourse without significantly reducing the risk of violence or other harm.” in the real world,” YouTube continued.
“Content moderation is good for commerce and good for democracy. The end of YouTube’s moderation rules regarding this election is dangerous for all of us,” reacted Nora Benavidez of the Free Press association.
YouTube has “decided to take the easy way out by leaving Donald Trump and those who support him free to lie without consequences about the 2020 elections”, also castigated Julie Millican, vice-president of the NGO Media Matters .
YouTube said its other regulations related to election misinformation, including a ban on content that misleads voters or incites people to interfere with the democratic process, are still in effect.