YouTube announced on Wednesday that it will remove any videos alleging widespread fraud in the 2020 election, essentially banning most, if not all content promoted by President Trump’s legal team on the platform. To enforce the strict new policy, YouTube said it will remove all videos that claim Presidential Trump “won the election due to widespread software glitches or counting errors.”
The “YouTube team” said in a blog post that they have disallowed content in the past alleging widespread election fraud or errors, but in some cases, “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 come and gone, YouTube will be enforcing a zero-tolerance policy on videos that contradict the liberal consensus on the election.
Yesterday was the safe harbor deadline for the U.S. Presidential election and enough states have certified their election results to determine a President-elect. Given that, we will start removing any piece of content uploaded today (or anytime after) that misleads people by alleging that widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, in line with our approach towards historical U.S. Presidential elections.
For example, we will remove videos claiming that a Presidential candidate won the election due to widespread software glitches or counting errors. We will begin enforcing this policy today, and will ramp up in the weeks to come. As always, news coverage and commentary on these issues can remain on our site if there’s sufficient education, documentary, scientific or artistic context.
Republicans were quick to condemn the authoritarian new policy on social media.
“Even if you are a little mentally slow & presume this election was totally legit, *THIS* is the kind of censorship you would see in Russia or Communist China,” wrote independent journalist Kyle Becker on Twitter.
“Don’t think just because you’re in “America” that this isn’t the same kind of thing. It is.”
Even if you are a little mentally slow & presume this election was totally legit, *THIS* is the kind of censorship you would see in Russia or Communist China.
Don't think just because you're in "America" that this isn't the same kind of thing. It is.🔻https://t.co/BVzcyW5Umj
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) December 9, 2020
Popular YouTuber Tim Pool said it’s time to sue the platform because its new policy overtly violates what is prescribed in Section 230. The statute allows for platforms to engage in “good Samaritan” moderation of “objectionable” content without being treated like a publisher or speaker under the law.
Section 230 states: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”
These are editorial guidelines
Time to start suing Youtube as they are now issuing direct guidance on what you can publish outside what is prescribed in Section 230 https://t.co/2TTPVEc0ng
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) December 9, 2020
OANN correspondent Jack Posobiec pointed out the partisan hypocrisy of the move:
YouTube will allow you to criticize the government's handling of coronavirus, but if you criticize the government's handling of the election your video will now be taken down.
We live in a free society.
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) December 9, 2020
“Adios free speech,” tweeted political commentator Dave Rubin. “The bannings are coming.”
This is an extraordinary escalation in the free speech war. Mainstream will ignore as will the few remaining “free speech liberals” so they won’t be though of as scary Trump supporters.
Time is running out. pic.twitter.com/fJpLhYvkKS
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) December 9, 2020
“Shocking and deeply concerning move,” tweeted Kyle Shideler, Director/Senior Analyst for Homeland Security & Counterterrorism at Secure Freedom. “The president was right when he said section 230 and the dangerous power of big tech is a national security issue.”
Dilbert creator Scott Adams tweeted in response, simply: “I’ll be testing this.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Trump’s legal team argued that the Dec. 8 “Safe Harbor Deadline” does not mean what the media thinks it means and that the election is far from settled.
“The ‘Safe Harbor Deadline’ is a statutory timeline that generally denotes the last day for states to certify election results. However, it is not unprecedented for election contests to last well beyond December 8,” Rudy Giuliani, personal attorney for President Trump, and Jenna Ellis, Trump Campaign Senior Legal Adviser, said in a press release.
Justice Ginsburg recognized in Bush v. Gore that the date of ‘ultimate significance’ is January 6, when Congress counts and certifies the votes of the Electoral College. The only fixed day in the U.S. Constitution is the inauguration of the President on January 20 at noon.
Despite the media trying desperately to proclaim that the fight is over, we will continue to champion election integrity until legal vote is counted fairly and accurately.
Meanwhile, Republicans on a joint congressional committee that helps prepare for inaugurations on Tuesday blocked a resolution naming Democrat Joe Biden as president-elect.
“The Inaugural Committee fails to pass simple resolution essentially acknowledging Biden as president-elect after all Republicans opposed,” Politico correspondent Heather Caygle reported via Twitter.
“Hoyer offered the resolution, which failed 3-3,” Caygle tweeted. “Other committee members are Pelosi, McConnell, McCarthy, Blunt and Klobuchar.”
The resolution was very basic, per folks with knowledge. It would’ve notified American people that Congress is preparing for inauguration of Biden and Harris “in coordination with health experts” as “we observe this transition of power.”
— Heather Caygle (@heatherscope) December 8, 2020