In a Friday afternoon information dump, YouTube inexplicably introduced right now that 2020 election denialism is a-okay. The corporate says it “fastidiously deliberated this variation” with out providing any specifics on its causes for the about-face. YouTube initially banned content material disputing the outcomes of the 2020 election in December of that yr.
In a feeble try to clarify its choice (first reported by Axios), YouTube wrote that it “acknowledged it was time to reevaluate the results of this coverage in right now’s modified panorama. Within the present atmosphere, we discover that whereas eradicating this content material does curb some misinformation, it may even have the unintended impact of curbing political speech with out meaningfully decreasing the danger of violence or different real-world hurt. With that in thoughts, and with 2024 campaigns effectively underway, we’ll cease eradicating content material that advances false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches occurred within the 2020 and different previous US Presidential elections.”
Misinformation and disinformation are dangerous on a societal degree. They lure individuals right into a false-reality bubble of “various information” the place the despots are the “good guys” and people supporting democracy are corrupt or untrustworthy. Failing that, it may depart individuals too confused to know what’s and isn’t actual; that kind of gaslighting is sort of as helpful to authoritarian actions as drawing in rabid supporters. Along with deceptive voters, extensively accepted false claims about election integrity can even result in the adoption of legal guidelines making it tougher for individuals to vote: voter-suppression legal guidelines handed below the guise of “election safety.”
If YouTube discovered some knowledge that by some means reveals the dissemination of election denialism isn’t dangerous in any case, it will appear applicable for the corporate to disclose that. However in need of that, all we’ve is YouTube’s declare that it “fastidiously deliberated” this transfer.
It is a growing story. Please examine again for updates.