In the latest batch of censorship by a big tech giant, YouTube announced on Wednesday that it will begin removing any video that purports to claim “widespread fraud” impacted the results of the 2020 election, or any video “claiming that a presidential candidate won the election due to widespread software glitches or counting errors.”
YouTube has already begun enforcing the new policy, which it will “ramp up” in the coming weeks.
For the basis of its change in policy, the company cited the “safe harbor deadline” which refers to a statute in the Electoral Count Act of 1887 which stipulates “that if there are disputes in a state over the results of an election, but the results are settled ‘at least six days before the time fixed for the meeting of electors,’ those results are conclusive and must be counted by Congress,” according to The New York Times.
The official vote to determine the next president will occur on December 14, meaning this year’s safe harbor deadline occurred on Tuesday, December 8.
YouTube, owned by its parent company Alphabet, said in its press release that content alleging widespread fraud changed the results of the 2020 General Election is already prohibited, however, “that has meant allowing controversial views on the outcome or process of counting votes of a current election as election officials have worked to finalize counts.”
Now that the safe harbor deadline has passed, YouTube is saying all such content is banned.
“Our teams work hard to ensure we are striking a balance between allowing for a broad range of political speech and making sure our platform isn’t abused to incite real-world harm or broadly spread harmful misinformation,” YouTube wrote.
“We welcome ongoing debate and discussion and will keep engaging with experts, researchers and organizations to ensure that our policies and products are meeting that goal. And as always, we’ll apply learnings from this election to our ongoing efforts to protect the integrity of elections around the world.”
It seems a bit too precious that in a press release announcing an even greater level of censorship, YouTube claims to “welcome ongoing debate and discussion.”
Republican Senator Jeff Hawley, Mo., lambasted YouTube for its decision via Twitter. Senator Hawley has been one of the most outspoke members of Congress criticizing the censorship of big tech companies.
“@Google owned @YouTube officially announcing free speech no longer allowed,” he wrote. “If you have concerns about election integrity, you must sit down and shut up. Repeal Section 230 and break these companies up.”
Though YouTube will no longer allow videos speculating about widespread voter fraud, the Trump campaign is pressing ahead with its legal filings alleging that large-scale voter fraud did occur in the 2020 General Election.
The Daily Citizen reported on Wednesday about a new lawsuit from the Trump campaign in Georgia that alleges up to 150,000 people illegally voted in the state. Currently, Joe Biden leads in the state of Georgia by less than 12,000 votes.
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