YouTube has started striking and suspending channels that allege “widespread fraud, errors, or glitches” changed the outcome of the 2020 US presidential election.
YouTube has been removing videos containing these claims since December 9 but initially said channels wouldn’t receive strikes when these videos are removed until after Inauguration Day on January 20, 2021.
However, like with many of the other tech giants, YouTube is now using yesterday’s protests at the US Capitol and certification of the election results as an excuse to fast track its implementation of these punishments for creators who upload videos agreeing with the sentiment of President Trump and members of his legal team who have argued that mass voter fraud swung the election in favor of the Democrats.
The change means that from today, any videos that are removed for violating these rules will be subject to YouTube’s three strikes policy. Under this policy, creators get a one-time warning the first time one of their videos is taken down. Then they get channel strikes when further videos are removed. If they get three channel strikes within 90 days, their channel is terminated.
As we highlighted when YouTube first announced this policy last December, YouTube claims that it applies to any past US presidential election. However, numerous videos from mainstream media outlets that question the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election and allege that Russia hacked this election have been allowed to remain on the platform unchecked.
Not only is YouTube directly censoring and purging creators that dare to claim widespread fraud, errors, or glitches changed the 2020 election outcome but it’s also heavily stacking the deck in favor of the mainstream media outlets that were given free rein to question the election outcome in 2016.
Independent creators are now 14x less likely to be recommended on election-related content than these mainstream media outlets which also have an 88% chance of ranking in the top 10 search results for election-related content.
YouTube is one of several Big Tech platforms to usher in massive censorship after yesterday’s events at the US Capitol.
Facebook and Twitter censored a statement from the President that called for protestors to go home peacefully and then suspended his accounts. Facebook also banned all photos and videos from protestors at the Capitol and introduced numerous other censorship measures.