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Last month, President Donald Trump and his allies tried to cast doubt on President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election. However, they have provided no evidence of irregularities in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia or any other state sufficient to overcome Biden's significant lead on the electoral college. Now YouTube says it's had enough.
"We will begin to remove all content uploaded today (or later) that misleads people by claiming that widespread fraud or mistakes have changed the outcome of the 2020 US presidential election," the Google-owned service announced .
YouTube admitted that it had previously "allowed controversial views to be broadcast about the outcome or process of the vote counting of a recent election as election officials worked to complete the counts". But now that most of Trump's legal challenges are out of court, YouTube says the legitimacy of Biden's election is no longer an issue.
YouTube says it will "start enforcing this policy today and increase in the coming weeks".
However, discussion of electoral controversies will not be entirely prohibited. YouTube enables "educational, documentary, scientific or artistic" videos to discuss content that would otherwise be banned. To fall under this exception, "it must be understood by the viewer that the aim of the creator is not to promote or endorse any content that violates our guidelines". In other words, a video can only discuss electoral fraud claims if it is clear that the video does not support those theories.
Different platforms have taken different approaches to electoral fraud since last month's elections. Twitter, for example, allows Trump to tweet allegations of election fraud, but adds a label to each tweet indicating that the allegations are controversial. Facebook took a similar approach. When someone posts content that contests the election result on Facebook, Facebook sometimes adds a notice advising users of official election results.