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YouTube will remove videos that encourage election meddling

It'll also yank ones containing hacked information that could interfere with elections.
Kris Holt, @krisholt
August 13, 2020
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Closeup of election vote button with text that says 2020
adamkaz via Getty Images

YouTube says it will take down videos that promote election interference, such as encouraging people to create long voting lines that make it harder for others to vote. It also says it will remove videos including information gleaned from hacks that might meddle with the democratic process. For instance, if a video includes hacked information about a candidate, YouTube will take it down.

Videos such as those would violate YouTube’s Community Guidelines, Leslie Miller, YouTube’s VP of government affairs and public policy, wrote in a blog post. YouTube’s parent company, Google, said last month it’d ban ads that include information from hacks too.

Miller also noted YouTube will display information panels for 2020 presidential or federal candidates when you search for them. The panels will appear above search results and include the candidate’s party affiliation, office they’re running for and their YouTube channel. YouTube announced the measures ahead of the Democratic and Republican national conventions, both of which will be livestreamed on the platform.

After the events of 2016, stamping out election interference is a critical concern for Google and other tech giants as we rumble towards November 3rd. Intelligence officials last week raised concerns “about the ongoing and potential activity by China, Russia, and Iran.”

Google and several other tech organizations — including Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Microsoft and the Wikimedia Foundation — have met with government agencies for talks about securing the presidential election. On Wednesday, they discussed “preparations for the upcoming conventions and scenario planning related to election results.”

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